Shortage of staff

Cat’s Den is shut down during lunch


Amelia Fitzpatrick

The Cat’s Den sits by the Lunchroom in the front of the school. Once the Shipment and staffing issues resolve, it will open back up.

Amelia Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, Aug. 24, the students of Millard West received the announcement that The Cat’s Den was closing during the third block until further notice.

Currently, there are four kitchen openings on the Millard Public Schools website just for West, and over the entire district, there are 21 openings for lunch staff. School administrators are working to get the kitchens staffed, while the kitchens are struggling to keep up.

“The shortage of staff is something that we are dealing with in our community,” principal Dr. Greg Tiemann said. “There are a lot of people short on staff. Like people who would rather stay home or feel safer at home.”

Through this tough time, Tiemann encourages students to support the staff by showing extra patience and kindness. He says that this tough time will not last long because we have an amazing staff that love kids and come to work to see them.

“It’s an issue on shipping and buying,” Tiemann said. “Another issue we are having is delivering as it’s taking longer than expected. The products in the Cat’s Dens are limited and we hope we can bring the trucks in as soon as possible. It’s a loss in revenue for the companies.”

The students’ reaction was understanding, as COVID-19 had hit last year. The closure during lunch changes many student plans for lunch options.

“I know that a lot of people were upset and I know I was, too,” junior Ren Becker said. “It was a convenience for some people, like to get a bag of chips without having to buy a whole meal.”

Food Department Manager Jennifer Fleming expressed similar issues with staffing and current openings as the reasons behind the Cat’s Den closure.

“Food service has many openings in the district; most of the openings are in the secondary schools—12 in the high schools, two in the middle schools and two in the elementary,” Fleming said. “Plus, we are always looking for substitute kitchen helpers, too.”

As of now there is no projected opening date for the Cat’s Den, and students should be patient while staffing issues can be addressed.