By Richard Bammer
The 21st-century California school kitchen and the food served in them only partially resemble what, say, a 40-year-old might recall, and some evidence is at Jepson Middle School in Vacaville.
Mystery meat? Not a questionably gray, watery slice in sight, but there was plentiful freshly made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, tomato soup, green salad, bread at 11:30 a.m. Friday, when the school’s eighth-graders showed up to file into the newly remodeled space that came with a price tag of nearly $1 million. The cost was due, in part, to extensive structural rot and other problems in the former space that required construction workers to “totally gut the place,” noted Jennifer Leonard, public information officer for Vacaville Unified.
Now there are the familiar gleaming, easy-to-clean silvery steel shelves running the length of the roughly 30-by-30 kitchen, the small cartons of milk stacked by the hundreds, stations to pick up a hot main dish, the cash register (now electronic and quiet) at the end of the line.