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Suburban School Cafeteria Worker Turned Into A TikTok Star With Lunch Break Videos During The Pandemic; 'People Like To Watch People Eat'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A suburban cafeteria worker spends her lunch break making videos of what's on the menu for students. Apparently people like to watch from all around the world.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory introduces us to local TikTok star with millions of followers and counting.

"Today we went on a hike. Yesterday we went shopping," says Gwen Graff, with a mouthful of food.

It feels like you're on video chat with a relative, but in reality, it's a TikTok recording that nearly 300,000 people tuned in for.

Another night, 116,000 fans watched Gwen and her husband, David, dig into their dinner; bundled up at home in their sweatshirts.

"We're wearing our hoodies, because Gwen is having a bad hair day, and I thought I'd help her out," David says to the camera.

The goofy couple from the northwest suburbs began posting to TikTok under the name "TheGreatGwen" during quarantine. Slowly, their mealtime audience grew.

"At one point, I was at like 500K, and all of a sudden I woke up to like a million [followers]," said Gwen.

TheGreatGwen is officially up to 2.5 million fans now, who like to watch the 54-year-old eat, especially on her lunch break at her Illinois school. She's a cafeteria worker.

"This is one of the kids' favorites," she says, sinking her teeth into a spicy chicken sandwich. Almost 10 million people have watched her drizzle sauce on the meal and chomp away.

17 million viewers ate it up when Gwen invited her lunch lady friend for an appearance. The two dined on watermelon together and laughed about both packing a peach from home. The video garnered 28,000 comments.

"My followers are amazing," she said. "People like to watch people eat, or watch people eat a meal. I get a lot of DMs saying, 'Gwen, I love you.'"

It's a love that's reached the United Kingdom and Singapore, she said, but it's also felt here at home. In a recent TikTok post, Gwen revealed she was voted "Staff of the Month."

She asked CBS 2 not reveal the name of her Illinois school for privacy reasons.

Occasionally, TheGreatGwen gets sponsorships, but she says she's not sharing her life for the money or fame.

"For my husband and I, we were alone, because my kids are away, and it was something for us to do, and we enjoy doing it," said the empty nester.

They have no plans to stop serving up joy on TikTok one meal at a time.

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