Lunch Participation Jumps When Students Learn About Local Ingredients

One school district increased school meal participation by educating their students about the local, healthy options they were already sourcing from local Kentucky Farmers. IMG-7308Fayette County Public School’s (FCPS) Nutrition Department (KY) worked closely with their Farm to School program to coordinate the Fayette Farm to School Challenge, a weeklong program filled with taste tests, cafeteria guests and educational programs to help increase student participation.

The Fayette Farm to School program worked to promote the educational aspect to families, students and staff, while the FCPS School Nutrition Department procured and prepared local menu items for the week. They featured recipes including cheesy chicken étouffée, an original created by District Chef Todd Gorrell, containing Kentucky sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The week also showcased how kid-favorites, like hot dogs and Sloppy Joe’s, could be made healthier, using locally-sourced produce and local farm-raised meats. Read more…

School Cafeterias On Trend During National School Lunch Week

During National School Lunch Week 2019, school districts are featuring Instagram-worthy, healthy school menus that tout trends highlighted in School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) recent national report. The 2019 Trends Survey reveals cafeterias across the country are offering students more international foods, locally sourced ingredients, antibiotic free proteins, customizable meals, whole grain rich foods and grab-and-go options on menus. Read more…

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…

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…