2016 Foodservice Director of the Year's best

Dana Moran, Managing Editor

bus stop cafe

Sara Gasiorowski, who was featured in FoodService Director magazine as November’s FSD of the Month because of her creative summer lunch program and commitment to local anti-hunger efforts, was our voters’ pick for FSD of the Year. Gasiorowski was honored Feb. 29 at our MenuDirections conference in Jacksonville, Fla. Here are her picks for some of The Best ideas in her operation.

Best low-tech sustainability solution

Milk carton recycling—we just started this at one of our elementary buildings. We are using a strainer and bucket to dispose of the extra milk, and then students put their cartons in a recycling container.

Best item that's caused a long line

Brunch for lunch.

Best high-tech sustainability solution

Styrofoam compacting units at the two schools that don’t have dish machines. The units melt down the foam trays into bricks, and a company picks up the bricks at the end of each year to be recycled into other products.

Best community collaboration

We are starting a food rescue pilot program at three schools in April. Food items that can be “rescued” will be picked up by a local food-rescue program and repurposed into meals for shelters.

Best versatility player on her menu

Chicken! Our students will eat chicken just about any way you prepare it.

Best example of teamwork

Several years ago, one of our schools had a water main break, and almost 800 students were transported to another building for the day. We had to coordinate suddenly having 800 more students for breakfast and lunch in that building.

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Ideas and Innovation

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Ideas and Innovation

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

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