Wiesbaden High School opens on-campus cafeteria
January 16, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Wiesbaden High School senior Kenyatta Agiza was all smiles after becoming the first person to buy a lunch in the school's brand-new cafeteria Jan. 7.
"It's really convenient not to have to walk so far to get lunch," Agiza said. "Before, we either had to walk to the commissary or to Pizza Hut. Now we have more options and healthy food."
For the first time since Wiesbaden High School opened 65 years ago, students can buy food and eat it in an on-campus cafeteria, said Principal Sharon O'Donnell. To mark the occasion, Roscoe Johnson, vice president of the student council, and O'Donnell cut a ribbon to open the facility.
Served on campus
"This allows our students to be served on campus instead of having them walk across the street to get their lunch," O'Donnell said. "It is important to me because it gives our students access to good food and an opportunity to socialize and meet and mingle and talk in a large group."
Once inside the kitchen, the students could choose between a meal of baked chicken, green beans, pineapple and a roll and an a la carte menu that included wraps and salads. Agiza chose the chicken option and said it was delicious.
Johnson agreed. "The food here is great because it has a little of everything that is very nutritious - vegetables, meats and other nutritious other things," he said. "I would recommend this to someone because it has a lot of everything - a huge meal and lots of options."
Also, "It helps a lot since it is on campus and you save time to have a great conversation with friends or study a little bit," Johnson said.
AAFES-Europe Commander Col. Fredrick J. Hannah, Command Sgt. Maj. Keith Craig and Senior Vice President Ed Bouley attended the event and ate lunch in the cafeteria. AAFES provides food for Department of Defense Dependents Schools cafeterias.
The cafeteria centralizes lunch for the students while providing healthy food that is all USDA approved, Hannah said.
Craig said the students will have more time to spend eating because they do not have to leave campus to eat. "They can just relax and concentrate on school," he said.
Bouley said he talked to a few students in the a la carte line who compared the offerings to the food at other schools they had attended. The students all liked the Wiesbaden offerings and were excited about the options, he said.
John Herrera, a junior, couldn't help but compare the food at the cafeteria to the food at his old school.
Not only are the academics at Wiesbaden better than at his old school, but now he believes the food is as well, Herrera said.
Students may either pay in cash or receive a personal identification number through AAFES and pay for lunch that way, said Royce Buenaventura, AAFES Supervisor of Wiesbaden High School Feeding. Full meals cost $2.55 each, and prices on the a la carte list vary. A veggie, turkey or ham wrap, for example, costs $2.25.
"We're here to stay and we're not expensive," said Buenaventura.
O'Donnell said students are still allowed to go off campus for lunch. They have done well returning from lunch to be on time for class, and as long as that does not change, neither will the policy, she said.
When the school opened in 1948, most of the students lived within walking distance of the school, so they went home for lunch, O'Donnell said.
That, however, was back when the school had 56 students and nine teachers, according to the school's website, and a lot has changed since then.
Arrive by bus
Most notably, many of the students live off post and arrive by bus, O'Donnell said.
Shortly after lunch started, O'Donnell noted that the cafeteria was full of students, and they all seemed happy. "They're just enjoying it. They're loving it," she said.
The students agreed.
Meagan Smith, a senior, said she really likes the convenience of the cafeteria. "It is an option we didn't have before," Smith said.
"Being able to be just eat at our own school and not having to figure where we want to walk to and spending our time walking," she added. (Lt. Col. Allen Hing, Public Affairs Officer for the AAFES Exchange-Europe and southwest Asia, contributed to this story.)