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Lunch ladies at SEB popular
seb lunch ladies
The lunchroom crew at Southeast Bulloch Middle School is shown above. Chicken Day – Wednesday – is everyone's favorite at the school. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    Everybody at Southeast Bulloch Middle School can’t wait for Wednesday to come: Wednesday is “Chicken Day.”
    Frances Beasley, the manager of the cafeterias at Southeast Bulloch Middle and High Schools, proudly says no matter what kind of chicken dinner it is – fried chicken, chicken fingers, hot wings, etc. – it’s hard to beat. “
    Even the dieters can’t stay away,” she said.
    Beasley’s crew at the middle school, she said, is simply top-rate. The team consists of veterans Louise Sherrod (19 years) and Addie Butler (17 years), who are there to help relative newcomers Velma Mosley (just over 1 year), Helen Thomas (2 years), and Patti Cooper (3 years) learn the tricks of the trade.
    According to Beasley, “All of the ladies here have kids in Bulloch County schools.”
    Sherrod said: “My grandkids always want to know who cooked what, so they can brag on my food.”
    The SEB Middle cafeteria crew feeds breakfast to 200 students every morning, and then lunch to more than 550 kids.
    Butler said: “We offer a lot more healthy choices because we have the necessary equipment needed to cook all the different items at the same time. Sure, we stay real busy, but it means so much to us to see that the kids get a good meal.”
    The kitchens are equipped with huge tilting skillets and kettles, deep fat fryers and     combination and convection ovens.
Kathy Szotkiewicz, director of school nutrition for Bulloch County schools, knows the Southeast Bulloch crew well.
    “This group excels in preparing good tasting food that also looks good on the serving line, she said.  “Beautiful food and a friendly staff of servers and cashiers make the difference for this middle school.”
    Beasley shared that all but her newest employee are “Culinary Serve Safe Certified,” having taken courses on handling and cooking safely.
    “I like everything I do except when I have to cook bacon,” Mosley said.
    Thomas, former owner of Helen’s Fast Food Restaurant in Statesboro, said, “It sure is a lot different from what I used to do.” Thomas cooks cinnamon rolls, honey buns and applesauce cakes.
    Cooper, meanwhile, admitted, “I had never done anything like this before. After a while I found that I was taking my new cooking skills home with me. I think my family likes my cooking a lot more now”.
    According to Butler, “My main job is as cashier. We just added a system called ‘My Lunch Money’ where parents can go on-line and add money to their kid’s accounts. It’s really neat.”
    Sherrod reminisced about the differences between the old high school and new middle school cafeterias. At the old cafeteria, she said, “We used huge grills to cook everything, even in pots and pans. It’d take forever to cook the food. In the new kitchen, using the new tilt-kettles and combi-ovens the food cooks in as little as half the time.”
    Beasley nodded and declared, “Being able to give the kids a nutritious good-tasting meal makes us all feel like a real important part of both this school and of these kids’ lives.”
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