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Behind the Lights: School nutrition department operates KISD concession stands

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Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:17 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Angel Verdejo

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen Independent School District's department of school nutrition feeds thousands of students on a daily basis.

So it may seem a little odd to hear Melissa Torres, the department's operations foreman, talk about the first time she worked the concession stands at Leo Buckley Stadium. School nutrition operates the stands on both on the home and visitor's side.

"The first game I was a little overwhelmed," said Torres, who is in her ninth season working the concession stands. "But I enjoyed it. I was like, 'Wow.'"

Things have settled in for Torres and the rest of the concession stand workers, which almost always come from the department through the district's different schools. The work is paid, with workers usually asked if they want the extra hours.

Sometimes there is help - school band booster clubs will have volunteers prepare and serve food alongside the school nutrition workers to help raise money for the booster clubs.

"We encourage the parents to come out and volunteer because this is for the kids," Torres said. "This is all for the kids."

The concession stands are open at nearly every Leo Buckley function, including the sub-varsity and middle-school games.

For most varsity games, workers normally arrive a couple hours before kickoff to begin prepping the hot (cheese and chili) and cold (drinks) items. The four-window stands open an hour before the games.

In addition to the traditional concession items, new items have been added this season.

"We added the turkey legs and we added corndogs to the menu," Torres said.

And the most popular item?

"Sausage wraps are very good," she said. "They're very popular."

The crews rarely get a chance to watch any of the games, instead relying on the customers to keep them informed.

"We always ask what the score is," Torres said. "We hear it though. We hear yelling and screaming, and all the hollering."

The stands start closing down just after halftime, closing the first of four windows on each side of the stadium.

And despite the work, Torres said the crews have fun during the games, as the shift is a break from the norm.

"We enjoy each other, we enjoy each other's company and we just have fun overall in here," Torres said.

Contact Angel Verdejo at averdejo@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7564,

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