Today’s news:

Lunch money secured for Lehman’s cafeteria

Lehman High School students will have more options this school year when it comes to getting meals inside the school building, as funding has been put to use to revamp the cafeteria to include seven new food kiosks.

The kiosks are meant to provide a variety of foods like pizza, sandwiches, hot entrees, burgers, meals-on-the-go, and salads, as well as a wide array of beverages.

Grant money for the redesign of the schools’ cafeteria was secured through capital funds with the help of Councilman Jimmy Vacca. Vacca said that he hoped the more students would take advantage of what the school has to offer in terms of dinning options to relieve congestion in Westchester Square.

“Lehman High School now serves more students than was ever intended and its cafeteria was totally inadequate,” Vacca said. “These improvements will hopefully give students a more comfortable lunch experience and lead to fewer students disrupting merchants and shoppers at Westchester Square. I am happy to have been able to come up with the funding for this important modernization.”

Dr. Janet Saraceno, the principal of Lehman High School, said that the main kiosk and food station has already been put into place. With all students headed back to school, and ninth graders required to be in the building during lunch, there are new expanded choices in terms of menu.

“The whole cafeteria has been enhanced and the food will be healthier and of higher quality,” Saraceno said. “It will look more like a food court and there are more choices: deli, Asian food, burritos, pasta, wraps, entrees – from hot food to cold food. We are very excited about it.”

Saraceno said that the new cafeteria will not only boast kiosks expanding the number of places to get or purchase food from just two last year to at least seven this year, but the institutional feel of the old cafeteria will no longer be there. The new cafeteria is one of several recent renovations. The terraced entranceway to the school is expected to be completed by October.

As for the cafeteria, the principal hopes that more students will take advantage of the lunch option and that complaints from the local business community about teenagers flooding Westchester Square will subside.

“We are hoping that community complaints about young people on the street while we are having lunch will subside,” Saraceno said. “The best part is that [food in the cafeteria] is free – all of the students can eat for free – and in these challenging economic times that will really help their families.”

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