The Show Must Go On

If you run a summer food program site, this true story could very easily be your story.

Picture the morning with scrambled eggs and pancakes eaten, the kitchen clean and the children on the way to the library. Add to it that it is only 9:30 a.m. Everything has run smoothly this morning, so you and the staff relax and complete menial tasks to pass the time. By the time 10:30 a.m. rolls around you decide to begin prepping lunch, which includes chicken nuggets, french fries, green beans, fruit and milk. The ovens are preheated and ready to go by 11:00 a.m. for lunch which begins promptly at 11:30 a.m. At 11:15, you go to check the chicken nuggets and realize that one of the ovens has stopped working. You regularly serve 90+ lunches and know that two ovens are necessary. When 11:30 rolls around, you will have enough chicken and french fries for 20 children. Over 40 children are waiting by 11:30. Oh, and only two of the children are older than seven.

What would you do?

“The show must go on!” And so it did. Twenty children were served and the remaining children were told the situation and given their milk. All waited patiently, even the families who arrived later in the meal. By 12:10 p.m., half of the now 68 children and three parents were still waiting. At that point, the decision was made to use the microwave to finish the chicken nuggets, as the french fries were all done and in the warming stations along with the green beans. With the microwave going, the entire group, 68 children, three adults, five staff and 8 second helpings were served by 12:30 p.m. The biggest blessing of the day may have been the rain which kept the number of meals served to 20 below the average number of meals served.

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