The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Food for thought: The future of Lakeside’s kitchen

Felicity W. ’26
Which side of the leaf will SAGE bring to the school lunches?

It’s no secret that the Lakeside community has strong opinions. It’s also no secret that we love the food our current staff cooks, and more importantly, we love those staff. So with the controversial change to SAGE food service next year, it’s only natural to assume that we Lakesiders will have some big questions and even bigger judgments. I hope to debunk some of these details, share both common and controversial opinions, and ask some rhetorical questions, in true Lakesider spirit.

In theory, SAGE is a perfect match for Lakeside. Its values seem to align; SAGE believes in helping the environment, educating young minds, and prioritizing students’ health. SAGE is the leading food service for schools in North America and serves other schools in Seattle, namely, Bush and Seattle Prep. This means they have ample experience with schools with similar size, diversity, and overall caliber.

On the company’s website, they emphasize their culinary diversity and ability to meet every individual school for their needs. According to Dr. Bynum, the current checkout system in place at Lakeside is imperfect. Students often can’t see the pricing of the food they are buying until they are at the checkout, people may use others’ student ID numbers, and there may be holdups that cause students to be late to class.

Additionally, more students will benefit from financial aid with the new lunch plan. As of right now, only about 80 students receive financial aid for food. With SAGE, that number will increase to over 200.

SAGE could be a game changer for Lakeside — for many reasons, but most importantly, in terms of inclusion. Not only will students not have to worry about pricing, but they will be able to take whatever food they want to ensure they have enough fuel throughout the day.

However, there are many potential downsides to Lakeside transitioning to SAGE. Not everyone chooses to buy school lunches, whether for dietary restrictions, preference of child/ parents, or a variety of other unique reasons. But, as of next year when SAGE becomes the official provider of our food, everyone must pay the $1,600 extra tuition. This means that even if a student has no desire to eat school food, they can’t opt out.

Another reason why Lakesiders may be against SAGE is because transition can be difficult — but in this situation, transition and its struggles are inevitable. Although there are undeniable benefits to using a new system, many are content with our current structure. From the wildly popular grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch to the conversations sparked waiting in line for checkout, to the connection and interaction many of us feel towards our beloved staff, all of these elements contribute to our cherished community and routine. These key parts of our day-to-day school experience may be taken for granted now, but can also not be expected to stay the same in the future.

In my experience, some of the kitchen staff have been major supporters in my life this year. They have listened to rants about test scores, grade-wide issues, and entertaining gossip. I am deeply grateful for them and truly can’t picture my life without them and their presence in the Lakeside community. More so, even though SAGE has promised to continue working with our staff, changes are bound to occur: not having a person to check in with you while checking out, and not having some of the favorite snack options. Some staff members — prompted by a number of things, including these changes — have chosen to retire rather than continue to work in the kitchens. Although we fully support and are happy for them, I think I can speak for the entire community when I say they will be missed.

While I’m sure the decision to use SAGE was carefully considered, the transition will likely be challenging for many students and staff. SAGE may bring many positive changes to Lakeside, but with this change parts of our cherished community may leave. Although it’s impossible to say whether the good or the bad will outweigh the other, I’m left wondering: how much are we willing to leave behind?

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About the Contributors
Calliope N. '27
Calliope enjoys dancing, writing, spending time with friends and loved ones, and warm weather. She has been dancing/performing her whole life, and now is also teaching ballet to younger dancers and people with different abilities. She has two cats and two dogs, one of which is a puppy named Hubert, and the other a cat named Egg. She is very proud of her naming skills. Her favorite place in the world are the beaches in Maui, although rainy Seattle is a close second.
Felicity W. ’26
Be it rain or shine, face it with a smile!

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