Café serves more than meals

Cafeteria manager Kim Griffin works to make sure each kid at Lakewood has at least two healthy meals a day.

Cafeteria worker Velma Walker places sweet potato fries into small containers on April 5 on the prepping station in the back of the cafeteria. Walker is doing this to prepare the fries to be served during lunchtime. “Prepping fries usually takes 20 to 30 mintues since it’s already frozen so it doesn’t really take long to make,” Walker said.


Every student goes to lunch, but they don’t know the hard work that goes behind it. Cafeteria manager Kim Griffin oversees the lunch at Lakewood and has been working here for nine years.

“Overall it’s a lot of fun – but it’s very hot in the kitchen,” she said.

Griffin works 37-45 hours a week. It takes about six hours to prepare food for both lunches. She is responsible for ordering anything needed, including food, cleaning supplies and all the produce. She is also responsible for payroll and daily and monthly paperwork.

And after doing all that, she still finds time to cook in the kitchen.

“The best part is knowing that I can provide a meal for students who can’t get much at home,” Griffin said. “The worst part is knowing that the breakfast and lunch may be the only meal that some students get.”

Principal Erin Savage has worked with Griffin for seven years.

“She is very knowledgeable. She ensures that students have healthy meals along with breakfast and lunch,” Savage said. “To me she is laid back but get things done.”

Griffin grew up in Tampa where she attended Tampa Catholic High School. She has two sons, a daughter, two grandchildren, three chickens and a hedgehog. In her free time, she enjoys reading lots of cookbooks and practicing cooking new meals.