Nutrition pilot program to help serve low-income students

Kentucky joins five other states in implementing program.

March 21—A school nutrition pilot program is expected to make serving low-income students in Kentucky school districts easier in the 2012-2013 school year.

Kentucky joins Alaska, Florida, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania in the demonstration phase of a program to use Medicaid data to determine elibility for school meal assistance. The project is under the authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which manages the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

“When we applied for this pilot project, I think the USDA saw that Kentucky is a leader in this area, and that there was a need for this because we do have such a high level of students who are eligible for this,” said Lisa Gross, Kentucky Department of Education spokesperson.

Currently, 56 percent of students in Kentucky’s public school system qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, which puts Kentucky in the top ten in need, said Gross.

Calloway County has 57.13 percent of student on free and reduced-price meals, and 39 percent of students in the MISD qualify for free and reduced-price meals, according to school district data.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

Ideas and Innovation
business card

We get the new folks abridged business cards saying, “Hi, my name is so-and-so and I work in nutrition department.” We thought it would give them more ownership of the program and elevate their status and position in the organization. It also gives our team more self-confidence and self-worth as an employee, which can be a challenge with foodservice workers.

Ideas and Innovation
tug hospital robot

Automation has opened up in recent years as foodservice operators across the country grapple with labor shortages. Robots deliver food trays to patients in hospitals, and they make sushi on college campuses. For some operators, they’re worthwhile to reduce strain on human employees and increase productivity.

Robots roamed the hallways when the University of California San Francisco Medical Center’s new Mission Bay campus opened last year. Though these robots have nicknames like Wall-E and Tuggie McFresh, they’re not a novelty. They’re a solution to a problem that administrators...

FSD Resources