Hallowed-Out

The closure of the C-Store was a necessary decision for the staff of Millard North

Staff Editorial

Nearly every day, freshman Maddie Poloncic would visit the Hole-in-the-Wall to purchase her favorite item–a raspberry-flavored tea.

One day, however, she couldn’t–the doors to the Hole-in-the-Wall were shut, and it was dark inside. On the doors, a sign (here to this day) said, “C-Store closed”. Now, Poloncic must order her choice beverage online and wait for it to come to her. 

While this specific predicament does not apply to all students, it stemmed out of the same inconvenience affecting the whole of MN. What used to be a staple in many students’ daily lives–the Hole-in-the-Wall–closed around early September of this year. 

While it is frustrating for the Hole-in-the-Wall to be closed, MN staff has a valid reason for their decision. We need to have an understanding of the circumstances that led to that decision. 

Contrary to any rumors floating around MN, the closure of the Hole-in-the-Wall has nothing to do with shoplifting. Our C-Store closed only because of staffing issues. 

When the Hole-in-the-Wall closed, the Millard Food Services had 18 employment positions left empty. Due to there not being enough available staff, it was decided district-wide that the staff working in the C-Stores would be transferred to the school’s cafeterias.

“[It’s] more important for the kids to get service and food, as opposed to snacks,” MN food production manager Greg Eades said.

What led to these staffing issues in Millard, as well throughout the country, was Covid-19. With additional monetary aid being given to those out of work due to the pandemic, many people choose to not enter (or even come back to) the workforce when the opportunity arises. In addition, a wariness of the spread of Covid-19 may be contributing to the lack of employees around the country. 

You have most likely seen these effects of Covid-19 impacting other frequently visited establishments. 

For example, fast-food restaurants everywhere are posting signs announcing that they are hiring. Businesses are struggling to meet the demands of their work, customers and clients, without the number of employees they need. 

When there is a shortage of employees in any workplace, it is difficult to accomplish everything that used to be expected of those workers. It places a burden on those who remain to do their own job, as well as what should be someone else’s job.

These nation-wide employment challenges have hit close to home, impacting staff and students at MN. It would not be fair of students and administration or Food Services supervisors to allow Food Services employees to struggle under these challenging circumstances. By closing the Hole-in-the-Wall, MN has taken steps to alleviate the burden Food Services workers would have been feeling if our C-Store had stayed open. Now, both staff and students must make do with what they have.

“I feel disappointed,” Senior Noah Holliday said regarding the closure of the Hole-in-the-Wall. “I try to take stuff from home and bring it to school now that the Hole-in-the-Wall is closed. I can’t do anything about [the Hole-in-the-Wall closing], though.” 

Although the closure of the Hole-in-the-Wall was not ideal, it was a necessary step for MN to be able to take care of its staff and students. The most important goal to be met is that students are receiving the nutrition they need and that the staff is able to do their jobs without high levels of stress over having too much on their plate.

Yes, we have to wait for the Hole-in-the-Wall to become a regular part of MN again–but we will recover. Food Services staff such as the Human Resource Specialist and the Growth and Engagement Manager are working tirelessly to bring applications in. New people will be drawn to the jobs that Millard Food Services is offering.

Eades estimates that the earliest the Hole-in-the-Wall will open is January 1 of 2022. Until then, we will stay patient and be appreciative of the hard work MN Food Services staff puts in for us.