Recipe Contests Highlight CA District’s National School Lunch Week

School districts across the country are gearing up to celebrate this year’s music-themed National School Lunch Week (NSLW), “School Lunch: What’s On Your Playlist?” from October 14-18.  Schools like Capistrano Union School District (CA) are busy planning new recipe launches and highlighting some favorite school lunches during the week. The Food Service Department will share photos of their daily special entrée and daily vegan special entrée on their popular Instagram account, CapoFood. CUSD will also be creating morning announcements to hype up lunch every day during NSLW, complete with music, menu highlights and dancing.

“We are hoping that this week will put a bright spotlight on our program and reach some new students, parents and staff that might not be aware of all our program has to offer,” said Nutrition Specialist Shannon Illingworth. “We are so proud of the variety in our menu, especially our vegan choices.” Read more…

Fresh School Garden Produce Inspires New Menu Options

As the harvest season comes to an end and Farm to School Month approaches, Southampton Union Free School District (NY) school gardens final crops are producing  various squash and pumpkins for school meals. To ensure her students have access to healthy, fresh ingredients and nutritious new menu options throughout the whole school year, district Food Service Director Regan Kiembock works with a number of local farmers as well.21192762_1863359707014577_4104292490504018530_n

The district’s impressive garden is organized by the Southampton School Garden Committee and is funded through a number of grants. Since produce is regularly used in school meals, funds are set aside from the school lunch fund to buy supplies as needed. Nearby Cornell Cooperative Extension also helps support the gardening efforts with free seeds in the spring. Items grown in the school garden include a wide variety of lettuce, along with asparagus, onions, squashes, pumpkins, raspberries, kale, peas, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, beets and carrots. Read more…

Whole Grain Rich Options Abound in Schools

Whole grains are on school lunch trays to stay, according to School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) recent survey of school meal programs nationwide. When USDA regulations pertaining to whole grains in school meals took effect to add more menu planning flexibilities in July, some were worried about what this would mean for the whole grains in cafeterias across the country. However,  over 90 percent responding to the survey indicated that their school districts will exceed federal whole grain requirements.

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‘Build Your Own’ Options Offer More Scratch Made School Meal Choices

Following trends in popular restaurants and cafes, Hopewell Valley Regional School District  (NJ) has crafted an exciting and unique menu for students across the district’s six schools. Since scratch cooking was introduced into the food service department about five years ago, the menu selection has continued to grow each year, according to Food Service Director Denise Menza.

Grab N Go
Typical Grab n’ Go section featuring school lunch options in Hopewell Valley Regional School District (NJ).

The district adheres to the USDA guidelines while utilizing ingredients in creative ways, helping to entice students and staff with healthy and delicious meal offerings. Read more…

School Lunch Hero Day Celebrates Cafeteria Professionals

With each smile or kind word, cafeteria employees make a difference in children’s school days. Their hard work and dedication can go unrecognized, but not on May 3, School Lunch Hero Day! Help celebrate these deserving and beloved lunch ladies and gentlemen! The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) received hundreds of nominations of stellar school nutrition professionals and awarded six Regional Employees of the Year. The award was created to recognize outstanding school nutrition employees who influence the quality of school meals through customer service. Meet the 2019 winners: Read more…

School Nutrition Managers Honored With Regional Awards

Overseeing everything from staff training and food presentation to equipment maintenance, managers of school kitchens and cafeterias are masters at multitasking. From the moment students walk into their lunchrooms, they are prepared to create a positive and healthy school meal experience. In recognition of their outstanding hard work and dedication, the national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has awarded the 2019 Regional Managers of the Year, considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. The award recognizes a cafeteria manager who has demonstrated dedication and ingenuity to improve his or her school meal program. Read more…

School Nutrition Directors Recognized Regionally For Excellence

The national non-profit, School Nutrition Association (SNA), has awarded the 2019 Regional Directors of the Year, celebrating individuals for their excellence in leadership and commitment to the school meal programs that thrive under their direction each day. Excelling at budgeting, professional training and leading cafeteria staff in great customer service, these Regional Director of the Year recipients ensure the overall success of their school meal programs and students’ school day. Read more…