New Jersey District to eliminate foodservice supervisor position

School board keeps foodservice in-house, hopes to cut cafeteria losses

May 23—The West Milford School District has decided to retain its in-house foodservice staff but eliminate the foodserice supervisor's position in an attempt to save money. A district statement said it is "no longer financially or operationally feasible to maintain the position ... for reasons of efficiency and economy."

The district food services enterprise’s reportedly lost $125,519 in the 2010-2011 school year, and $129,812 last school year. In the summer of 2011, the district retained Pomptonian Food Services as its management consultant.

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On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

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