Official: Mississippi ready for school nutrition standards

Speaking at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, the state's child nutrition director for the department of education says the state is well prepared to meet new—and old—USDA guidelines.

WASHINGTON—Mississippi is well prepared to meet new federal nutrition regulations regarding school lunches, a state education department official said Wednesday.

Mississippi’s Statewide Purchasing Cooperative helped the state negotiate lower prices for nutritious foods, avoiding the struggle other states have gone through serving meals that meet new federal standards, Scott Clements, child nutrition director for the Mississippi Department of Education, told members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

“We’ve been very fortunate in Mississippi,” Clements said. “We have a legislature and state board of education (that) are both very cognizant of the challenges we have with nutrition in particular.”

The new regulations were created under the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which established stringent and potentially costly nutrition standards for school lunches and set quotas on serving sizes of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and other food groups.

School systems around the country have struggled to meet the regulations while grappling with reduced revenue from declining participation in school lunch programs.

In the 2012-13 school year, 47 percent of school meal programs lost money and 90 percent reported higher food costs, according to the 2013 Back to School Trends Survey.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

Sponsored Content
gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

Industry News & Opinion

Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

FSD Resources