Calif. director champions new school meal regs

Director developed salad bar that became national standard.

Sept. 10—Riverside (Calif.) Unified School District is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. 

That fact can be attributed to Rodney Taylor, director of nutrition services for the Riverside Unified School District, who is considered a “rock star” in the effort. With more than 30 years of experience in the culinary arts, Taylor found his passion in food service and even established a national model, the “Farmer’s Market Salad Bar” (FMSB) program in 1997, while working as the director of Food and Nutrition Services in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. He brought this program to Riverside in 2005.

The salad bar features locally grown produce and helps teach elementary school kids to be lifelong healthy eaters by increasing access and availability of fruits and vegetables, and through hands-on education components that include field trips to farms, school gardens and farmer visits to classrooms.