It’s busy in the kitchen: there’s a school lunch program to manage plus a host of federal child nutrition programs that run from fall to summer, and from breakfast to supper. An ambitious goal has been declared—to be the community’s nutrition hub—and Pueblo City Schools is determined to make good on that promise.
“When you think about school lunch, oftentimes a woman with a hairnet and scooper is what people imagine,” says Janelle Peterson, Manager of Student Nutrition for Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS). “That’s just the connotation---but we’re not your mother’s school lunch.”
Peterson developed and abides by the RCAS tagline, which promotes “ensuring a successful tomorrow through extraordinary moments today.” She and her team feel a responsibility to not only monitor food safety, but to deliver a complete dining experience.
The food service program for Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) holds itself to a high standard: with an award-winning director, innovative practices, and a fiscally sound structure, Cincinnati’s team is a study in possibilities.
“We wanted to take our program to the next level but we didn’t know how,” said Jessica Shelly, CPS Food Services Director. “We needed a new perspective to validate barriers we thought were there, and to identify things we were doing really well.”
CPS needed a strategy for growth but there were veritable obstacles. Staff time was limited, and resource constraints were a factor. Further, leadership perspectives were just too close to the source, rendering an objective evaluation almost impossible.
What they needed was a fresh pair of eyes.