A Matter of Taste


Photo by: Sarah Wortman

Kiyoko Aoki, senior, purchases breakfast in the cafeteria before school.

Three years ago, freshman Trevor Jeffrey discovered mold on the sandwich he had bought from the cafeteria.

Last year, the Oxnard Union High School District terminated their contract with Cam High’s previous food service contractor, Sodexo America, partially to general distrust by student testimony similar to Jeffrey’s experience. A new nutrition services division was then implemented earlier this year aiming to help improve the quality of student lunches.

However, students are still saying that the food provided is essentially the same as last year, with minor adjustments to the menu.

“I feel like when they try to make [lunch food] ‘nutritious’, it’s more like them following these set rules, though I don’t know if it actually has proper nutrition,” said Samantha Tovar, senior.

The new nutrition services division has been trying to improve upon last year’s standards by “…changing the quality of products [they] used previously and moving toward freshly prepared menu items instead of single packaged items,” according to a document sent by Stephanie Gillenberg, the director of nutrition services for the Oxnard Union High School District.

Holli Getton, Cam High cafeteria food worker, acknowledged a noticeable improvement. “I think the quality [of the food] is better. We’re serving more fresh produce, fruits and vegetables,” she said. “Instead of just apples, we have a lot more variety. Occasionally we’d have a once a month special, but the fruit all depends on what is available.”

“[On the other hand,] portion sizes really haven’t change that much,” she said. “We can’t help that you have to have a certain amount of different things, a certain amount of meats, a certain amount of grain, a certain amount of vegetables.”

Getton also said that there wasn’t a massive change in regards to food policies. “We are more in control of what we’re buying. We have a little more input, but as far as Sodexo is concerned, they have to follow the same rules as we do,” she said.