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…

Survey Prompts Major Updates to Nutrition Program

Wayzata Public Schools (MN) nutrition professionals spent the summer of 2018 overhauling the nutrition program in the district’s Culinary Express. They created new school menus, with delicious scratch-made recipes, including homemade chicken noodle and chicken wild rice soup, vegetable lo mein, spicy black beaned burgers, baked ziti and pork carnitas burrito bowls. 

While revamping the Culinary Express website, school nutrition staff worked with a local food hub and marketing company to help provide more opportunities for nutrition education, including new graphics, cafeteria posters, food mascots, etc. The innovative changes to their school nutrition program were prompted by survey feedback from parents and staff.

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Schools Don’t Let Fall Break Sideline Lunch Week Celebrations

Fulton County Schools in Atlanta (GA) didn’t let their Columbus Day holiday break get in the way of celebrating the importance of National School Lunch Week (NSLW). Even though schools were closed October 9-13, Fulton County honored NSLW October 16-20 with a whole week of exciting events and school meals. Roughly 7.9 million healthy  school lunches are prepared for more than 91,000 Fulton County students each year.

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“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Alyssia Wright, executive director of the district’s School Nutrition Program. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer.” Read more…

Menu Planning for More Vegetarian Options in Jefferson County Schools

A brave middle school student presented a need for more vegetarian options to the Jefferson County School Board in Kentucky. The plea, which Nutrition Service Center Manager Dan Ellnor said was “heartfelt and well researched,” made the district take a closer look at vegetarianism as a food service policy. Vegetarian options would not only increase the number of healthy, fresh options, but it would help entice students and staff who wouldn’t otherwise purchase school meals. Read more…