Cooks Accommodate Students’ Dietary Needs


Damon Linville

Providing many alternative meals for students, such as vegetarian options or meals that conform to allergen restrictions, the cooks work hard on a day to day basis to provide for students.

Jesten Richardson, Staff Reporter

Imagine that every time that you went out to a restaurant, ate at a friend’s house or even picked an item off of a grocery store shelf that you had to check the ingredients.
Now imagine what it must be like to have to be this thorough and cautious during the school day.
Life with food allergies can be difficult for some, yet Cabell Midland’s culinary staff is prepared to help ease the minds of students during school.
“We always check the products that we are working with to see if they were made in a factory that processes peanuts,” said head cook, Frances Hickman. “We have to watch everything and be very careful with what’s coming in.”
Not only do these staff members check ingredients for students and carefully arrange their work area; they also make special lunches for students with food allergies and the proper paperwork.
“I had to go through a complete process with the nurse,” said senior Brayden Saunders. “We filled out a certain form that told the cooks what I’m allergic to and what to fix. Then, it had to be taken to my doctor, signed and brought back to school.”
This process may appear tedious to some, yet it may just prove to be worth it to students in the long run.
“I’m allergic to milk,” said Saunders. “It can suck at times, but they (the lunch staff) are very nice people. They usually put whatever is in the main line in my lunch, but if I don’t like what is in it that day, I can go in and tell them that I want something different.”
With such a program in place, it is puzzling to some that more Cabell Midland students have not taken advantage of it.
“Usually not a lot of students use the program,” said Hickman. “We only have about one student this year. The most we usually have is only around six.”
Though the number of people using the program is small, the culinary staff still goes out of its way to keep the people that do use it safe.