Consulting firm offers tip to improve school lunch

School board looking for ways to boost participation rates.

June 18—Montclair N.J. school board members plan to recommend a food service provider for the district at Monday night's public meeting.

"In reviewing the bids, the food committee scored the proposals with equal weight on nutritional improvements and financial competitiveness," said School Board Member Tanya Coke. "Under state accountability rules, districts must not run their food program at a loss, so our goal with respect to the finances is to achieve a break-even operation.

"With regard to food quality, we're looking for a further reduction in processed ingredients and additives, an emphasis on whole grain and whole meats, fresh vegetables, and appealing presentation," she added. "We're also exploring options for recyclable serving ware."

In April, the school board approved an almost $10,000 contract with a consulting firm to help put together a request for proposal for someone to take over the district's food service operation.