Order up: CHS welcomes new lunch service



CHS has a change in their food providers for lunch and the students are reporting that the food now is fresher and tastier. https://unsplash.com/license

Henry Frieman

CHS is adding a little spice to their school lunch.

Over the summer, Communications High School switched its lunch provider from Wall Food Services to Pomptonian Food Service. Wall Food Services, which had been supplying CHS with food for over 10 years, pulled out of its agreement with the school due to staffing concerns and a change of directors.

Pomptonian cooks on-site, using CHS kitchen equipment, a change Pomptonian president Mark Vidovich highlighted when discussing the transition.

“The students should enjoy a much better quality product,” Vidovich said. “We use quality ingredients to make the menu and we have a nice variety of choices available each day.”

Outside of the featured meals of the day, students will have a selection of pizza, Boar’s Head sandwiches, salads and different types of chicken dishes (nuggets, sandwiches, spicy sandwiches). Students will pay with cash, although principal James Gleason says a payment system will be installed by the end of September at the latest.

Juniors and seniors will have lunch from 10:30 to 10:55 and freshmen and sophomores from 11:05 to 11:30, the same schedule installed during the height of COVID-19 guidelines. While the decision may cause trouble with students getting to their clubs, Gleason thinks it will benefit CHS.

“The split lunches gave everybody a table to sit at and it lent to the school being cleaner,” Gleason said.

Last year, underclassmen had difficulty attending club meetings, as they were typically scheduled during the second half of lunch — the underclassmen lunch block. Prior to the pandemic,the lunch schedule was flexible, with the whole period available for  students.

Sophomore Lindsay Gilbert of Wall participated in multiple clubs and struggled to balance activities during the lunch period.

“It was difficult because we would have to figure out how to find time to eat and attend the meetings,” Gilbert said.

To account for club meetings, students are allowed to eat during either half of lunch if they have a commitment during their lunch period.

Lunch has gotten rave reviews as students begin trying it out: senior Maddie Lee of Atlantic Highlands is a big fan.

“This lunch is so much better than last year,” Lee said. “There are a lot more healthy options this year, and it tastes like food.”

The senior class will be the one of the last CHS classes to eat on the floor as freshmen. Senior Max Karp of Bradley Beach fondly remembers telling his parents about his first lunch.

“I sent a picture of my lunch to my family on the first day of school and their responses surprised me because rather than asking how it was their response was ‘why is it on the carpet?’” Karp said. “I just love how it was something we didn’t question at all.”

Though freshmen won’t be forced to the floor anymore, they’ll still have plenty of time to become friends during lunch — perhaps over some Pomptonian french toast sticks.