FSD's 20 Most Influential

Inaugural list identifies those people having the biggest impact on non-commercial foodservice.

Tony Geraci
Executive Director of Nutrition Services,
Memphis City Public Schools,
Memphis, Tenn.

“I was never very good at following the rules,” Tony Geraci once admitted. However, that rule-breaking, whatever-it-takes attitude is exactly what has enabled him to make waves in child nutrition. Take his time in Baltimore City Schools, when Geraci turned an abandoned 33-acre lot into the Great Kids Farm, a learning laboratory for students to experience the produce life cycle firsthand. The project had little funding from the district, so Geraci turned to the community and invited them to lift a hand—literally—in the farm’s creation.

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Photo by John Dean

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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.

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Ideas and Innovation
email computer screen

Communication is key, and [managers] are busy too. One tip I picked up from another director was to label my subject line with the header “action,” “information” or “response” followed by a brief description of the email contents. That way they can filter through their inboxes during their busy days to know which emails need their attention immediately and which they can save to read later.

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.

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