Welcome to Lunch Lady Land

Erica Billiard prepares to serve lunch

In preparation for important tests and busy school days students are told to get a good night’s sleep and eat a big breakfast. Energy from the food we eat helps us to perform to the best of our abilities. All this would not be possible without Erica Billiard. Reporter Charlotte Sellers sat down with Erica Billiard, Cheyenne’s head of food services to learn more about what her job entails and what she wishes students knew. 


How long have you worked at Cheyenne?

I have been here since 2015. I opened up the new kitchen, it was once part of the kiva. 


What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting to know you guys. 

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Short staffed. I would definitely need more staff and a temp agency so when someone is not able to come in we have a replacement. 


Do you have anything you wish students knew about you or the job you do?

We can make and break your day and same with us. So it’s really about being respectful and that goes a long way. 


What lunch do you like the best?

I’m a Hamburger girl. I like the hamburgers the best 


If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

I really enjoy salads. They are easy and I like to make different kinds.


What happens to extra food at the end of the school day?

It gets thrown away, but we try to donate. This becomes difficult because there is a temperature control issue when getting the food from point A to B. We would not want the donated food to possibly spoil and cause illness because that would make the district look good. 


If you could change anything about the school’s current food system what would it be? 

Meeting your guys’ requests with healthy food. The balance of having meals students enjoy but also have nutritional value. 


Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Family and reading. 


What are you reading right now? 

A fantasy book called Crush it’s about vampires and wizards, fun stuff. 


How many students get served lunch every day?

We do reimbursed meals, total I would say around 200 meals a day. Wednesday is nacho day and the most popular.


Do teachers and school faculty also eat some of the lunches you prepare?

We have about 5 members of the staff everyday but we also feed the custodians. 


What’s the food preparation steps?

I get here at 6 and set out the essentials such as utensils and cash. I then prepare the breakfast stuff. Next, I put out a case and a half of cookies which is an impressive amount. After, fries are prepped fries, sandwiches, and burgers. Then the rest of the staff arrives at 9.