Child Nutrition Team
It’s been a challenging but successful year for our district’s Child Nutrition Team. They have pulled together during trying times to continue to provide our children with truly wonderful meals. If you haven’t eaten in a school cafeteria in a while, you’re missing out. They put on quite the spread.
Why has the year been so challenging? On October 2, 2014, a flash storm destroyed Child Nutrition’s administrative offices and part of their warehouse. The roof came off, the rain came in, and the ballasts came down. Losses included eight years of records, which was certainly significant for the Team. The good news is that no one was hurt and the Team was able to salvage most of the current paperwork needed to operate effectively. The administrative staff is currently located on the Central Campus in Building E. They are grateful for their temporary home and have settled in comfortably, but remain anxious to return to their original offices once they are refurbished.
Why has the challenge been received positively? Every crisis brings a team closer together. Our Child Nutrition Director, Rhonnie Kerns, has indicated that she is truly proud to serve with the wonderful men and women of the Child Nutrition Team. When the offices were initially lost, the administrative work came to a halt. Without computers, phones, desks, calculators, etc., it was difficult to continue with business as usual. Things that were normally done quickly and efficiently, like placing food orders or processing applications, became challenging undertakings. But everyone on the Team pulled together to ensure that our kids continued to get nutritious and appealing meals each day. Others in the district helped too, providing supplies and encouragement. What a privilege it is to work in this district with wonderful people who care about kids and care about each other. The Child Nutrition Team wants to thank everyone for their support.
The Team is also happy to report that counts are again on the rise. As regulatory requirements have eased to some degree, more variety has again become available in our cafeterias – And students are returning. The phenomenal cooks in our district have always done a great job of providing quality meals to our kids and they welcome each and every child with smiles and genuine care. It’s great to see so many children enjoying their meals together and it is meaningful to the Team that our community supports this vital non-profit program and encourages their children to eat school meals. Your participation keeps the program strong and allows us to continue to offer the very best to our students. Meals range from the ever popular chicken nuggets to beef quesadillas to mandarin orange or General Tso’s chicken with egg rolls. There’s something appealing for every palate. Our breads and desserts are still homemade and mouthwatering. Even with the new whole-grain requirements, there’s nothing better than homemade garlic bread or a cinnamon roll hot out of the oven.
Not all of the press about Child Nutrition Programs has been positive over the last few years, with USDA making major changes in an effort to fight obesity in our country. But I can honestly say that our Child Nutrition Team has always been strong nutritionally and its members work tirelessly to meet the regulatory requirements governing their menus and to keep their meals appealing to students of every age. Thirty-eight professionals provide our children with the food that strengthens their bodies and minds at school each day. And every Child Nutrition Team member is appreciated.
As their tag line says – “We Serve Education Every Day”. Yea Team!