Food service staff member Jennie Deany selling a breakfast sandwich to a York student in the A foyer. Photo courtesy of BrykHouseMedia
Food service staff member Jennie Deany selling a breakfast sandwich to a York student in the A foyer. Photo courtesy of BrykHouseMedia

Smoothies making a return to York despite staff shortages

October 6, 2022

For the first time in over two years, the smoothie stand will be coming back to the academic building foyer, thanks to the efforts of the food services department. 

Seniors may remember the smoothie cart back when they were freshmen. Underclassmen have unfortunately never experienced this, but they won’t be missing out for long. 

“The stand will be up in the coming weeks during all lunch periods,” food services manager, Joseph Biasco, said. “Students will know when the drinks are available for purchase when signs are posted on the doors of the cafeteria. We’re going to try to do smoothie days periodically and advertise on YTV so students know when they are.”

The main goal of the food services department is to make sure all students are happy and safely fed. They have been effectively doing just that since coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic, but extra amenities have been out of reach with the shortage in staff that the department is currently facing.

“The past 2 years have been very different. As a team and community we have had to learn new ways of doing things that we had all done for so many years.”

They are so alarmingly deficient in staff members that Biasco was unable to sit down for an interview, and in the few moments that I was able to speak with Biasco, he seemed uneasy from leaving the kitchen disassembly. 

“We are doing our best each and every day to bounce back,” Biasco said. “[I] hope that we can return to a full staff soon. A full staff allows us to do more and create more exciting items and lunches.” 

It is not shocking that District 205 has vacancies in food service. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, as of October 1, there are over 3000 vacancies in public schools statewide for both licensed and unlicensed employees. No new staff will be added to the food services department in the time leading up to the reopening of the smoothies.

“Our main goal has always been to take care of the students and we will continue to do that,” Biasco said. “The response when we first came back to the A foyer with our breakfast cart was amazing to see, the smiles and happy comments make you feel good and I believe the return of smoothies will do the same.”

Senior Catey Lameka experienced the smoothie stand first hand during her freshman year, and remembers how the experience added to the joy of high school. 

“I remember that during fourth hour, me and my friend would sneak out of French class and get the smoothies,” Lameka said. “Ms. Vanessa greeted us with the loveliest smile and offered us the most scrumptious smoothies. I don’t know what my favorite flavor was, but there were a lot of good options. When they come back, there’s going to be a lot of classes that I’ll be skipping for the smoothies.”

As for the young’uns of York, the excitement is equally matched. Freshman Mason Hildy can’t wait to get in on the action.

“The smoothies are crazy, so I’ve heard from my two older brothers,” Hildy said. “My older brother Camden used to bond with his girlfriend over smoothies. I’m really thankful that the smoothies are back, and I’m sure they’ll be delicious.”

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