One Garfield

Meet Debra Denby! GHS Lunchroom Manager, 2005-2017

Ms. Denby has managed the Garfield lunchroom for 12 years! Before that she worked in the Roosevelt lunchroom for 12 years, and before that at Whitman MS and the SPS Central Kitchen.

She loves that every day is different in this job, and it’s never boring. The kitchen receives menus from a nutritionist once a month, and meals must be planned. Daily there is a hot entree, 3 different types of pizza, chicken, fish and veggie burgers, sandwiches and salads. Breakfasts consist of 2 cooked items, one sweet and one savory, bagels, toast and cereal. The menus are low-sugar and low-salt and emphasize variety and fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Nachos are the most popular entree! About 220-250 get lunch on a typical day, and about 200 get breakfast.  She says the kids at Garfield are “wonderful” and “lovely.”

For home nutrition, she advises stocking up on fresh fruit so it is available as a snack instead of chips and cookies, and giving teens time to get used to healthy eating. She notes soda drinking has dropped noticeably since it has stopped being offered at school. Also, discourage students from buying lunch outside of school since the food is less healthy and students are less safe off-campus.

Finally, Ms. Denby will retire this May! She is looking forward to packing up her bags and going on a long trip to Europe. The photo below shows her 24 years ago with the lunchroom staff at Roosevelt High School.