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Preparing to reopen the Ashburton College canteen were (from left) Kelven Hastie, Year 13 student helpers Lachlan Kingan and Ronan Kenny with Jo Keen.

By Mick Jensen

The familiar queues have returned and favourite foods like pork riblets and sushi are back on the menu in the Ashburton College canteen.

The canteen reopened on Monday after a near eight-week closure.

It was a more relaxed day than usual on Monday for canteen manager Kelven Hastie and long-term staff member Jo Keen with just Year 9 and Year 13 students back.

The rest of the school returned on Tuesday, as near normality returned to the college.

Kelven said there had been a lot of cleaning prior to the restart, but it was all systems go again.

Morning tea break ran from 11am until 11.20am and lunch for 45 minutes from 1.20pm.

Both times were busy and over the course of the day some 300 to 400 orders were taken.

The canteen is popular with students and some staff, he said.

Nine students are rostered to lend a hand in the canteen and paid each term in a lump sum for their time.

Jo said sushi and pork riblets were among some of the big favourites and every day there were a range of affordable specials on offer for lunch.

Pita pockets, soup and noodles were all menu staples.

Hot food was more popular in the winter and all cold drinks were sugar free, she said.

Friday was pie day and students typically snapped up between 200 and 300 on the day.

Jo said she loved the interaction with the students.

“The vast majority are polite and well behaved and if they’re not, they go to the back of the queue.”