Colorado school district hires Ann Cooper as Consultant

Upgrading menus first on to-do list.

BOULDER VALLEY, Colo.—Boulder Valley (Colo.) School District has hired Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services for the Berkeley (Calif.) Unified School District, to revamp its school meal program.

Cooper will manage the project through her consulting firm, Lunch Lessons LLC. “The first step is looking at the menus and the commodity food order,” Cooper said. She hopes to eliminate most processed foods and will develop a new menu for the 2009-2010 school year. In addition, Cooper hopes to upgrade the department’s infrastructure and kitchens.

Cooper and her staff will begin work Jan. 1, at which point Cooper will work half time in Berkeley and the other half in Boulder. She said a team of Berkeley’s managers and the executive chef will “step up to the plate” while she is gone.

“Boulder is really ready,” Cooper said about deciding to work with the district. “They need a lot of work and I think they deserve a lot of credit for knowing they needed to make these changes.” Cooper anticipates that it will take three years to revamp the program. Boulder Valley is funding the project with a $100,000 gift from a local couple. Whole Foods has also agreed to match the donation.

Lunch Lessons LLC, aims to teach children how to “seek, grow, prepare and eat nourishing, delicious and sustainably grown food.” Cooper and the firm have provided consulting for several school districts, but the work with Boulder is the first complete overhaul the firm has done since Cooper took over at Berkeley after revamping its program in late 2005.

 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

Ideas and Innovation
pinterest hand phone

We like to offer a constantly changing menu. Last year, I started a Pinterest account—not for marketing, but for my team, so that they can look to the recipes for inspiration and try something new. We tried protein cookies based onto a Pinterest recipe, and our residents loved them.

Ideas and Innovation
coal creek student salad bar

When I was visiting Minneapolis Public Schools, I saw that they have these cool signs on top of their salad bars. As soon as we got back, we re-created them. They are big and branded, and have the portion requirements. They say “Taste something new today” on one side, and we support our local farmers on the other. They help the bars look fresh and delish, and attract students’ eyes.

Menu Development
chicken tetrazzini bowl

The No Whey station in the main dining hall at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., offers students meals that are free of the eight most common allergens. When Brittany Parham, the dietitian who oversees the station, polled food-sensitive students on which favorites they missed most, “comfort foods” was the overwhelming response. Parham, who herself has food allergies, worked with chefs on the 20,000-student campus to focus on allergen-free versions of pasta bakes, biscuits, banana bread and other down-home dishes. Recently, the chefs reworked the school’s traditional chicken...

FSD Resources