CHS cafeteria faces food theft


Callum Holt '23

Any student without a meal at lunch time at CHS is eligible for one free meal per day. Some, however, have decided they’re entitled to more, taking advantage of the taxpayer-funded program and stealing extra meals. 

Cafeteria staff members have noticed unaccounted for meals, meaning that students are taking more than the one meal they are offered each day.

“Food theft is a big issue at Calabasas High,” said Cafeteria Manager Casey Wheat. “We’ve noticed that over 30 meals have gone missing a day.” 

300 lunches are made daily, which means nearly ten percent are being stolen. Although lunches are offered through a government-funded program, cafeteria theft directly takes money from CHS’ pocket, according to Wheat.

“If students do not use their ID number, the school cannot be reimbursed, as the program is government funded,” said Wheat.

In order to prevent theft, CHS administration has installed cameras in the cafeteria in order to catch students in the act and have recruited school janitors and officials to help monitor students in the lines. 

On Jan. 31, Assistant Principal of Student Safety, Facilities and Athletics Tyler Lee announced that beginning Feb. 1, students have the option to purchase a second lunch in addition to their first free lunch. 

“The second lunch will be $5,” said Lee in a Parent Square announcement. “Money can be added on a student’s payPam’s account.” 

Cafeteria officials put effort into ensuring nutrition opportunities for the student body, reheating meats and pastries and providing always-ready cereal and bento boxes. Staff members ask that students who opt for a second meal be respectful and pay the fees necessary.

“Just be respectful to my staff really, because they’re ladies that work very hard to feed these kids,” said Wheat. 


Note: This article has been updated as of Feb. 7 due to an error in source naming.