School lunch programs across the state face significant financial challenges. Those programs must be self-supporting and many districts are struggling to cover costs of school lunch through the traditional combination of student payments and federal and state funding. On February 13 a group of 85 school foodservice directors, dietary managers and other industry professionals participated in the Minnesota School Nutrition Association’s Legislative Conference and spent a day lobbying their cause at the capitol. The big question being asked of the state legislature is: Can the state spare two more cents per meal?
Are you a Farmer, School Foodservice professional, Institutional food buyer/wholesaler, SHIP Coordinator, School Administrator or staff, involved parent or community member? Do you know someone who is? Read on!
Join us February 14 or 28 for a chance to build and strengthen Farm to School throughout the greater Twin Cities metro area!
Renewing the Countryside and the University of Minnesota Extension are hosting two identical Farm to Cafeteria workshops in the metro area. These workshops are designed to help break down barriers to Farm to School for school food service professionals, school administrators and staff, school wellness committee members, parents and community members, institutional buyers/wholesalers, farmers, growers, Statewide Health Improvement Program coordinators, and other community partners.
When and Where:
While some look at the new school meal nutrition guidelines as an obstacle, others see opportunity. Such is the case with many area companies that manufacture products for schools. One of them is Karlsburger, the 56-year-old soup base and stock company. Last October they unveiled a line of products that are National School Lunch Program compliant. “We called them NSLP 140, that they contain 140 MG of sodium or less, as well as zero trans fats,” said Matthew Maher, a sales representative for the company.
The Minnesota School Nutrition Association will hold its Nutrition Conference on October 27, 2012 at Rocori High School in Cold Spring Minnesota. These nutrition conferences are focused largely on the well-being, overall health and nutrition of school foodservice workers and professionals. The theme is “Healthy You,” and one of the speakers is O’Neal Hampton, Season 9 Biggest Loser contestant, who will talk about his battle with obesity, low self-esteem and how he learned to embrace nutrition and healthy living.
David Fhima’s message of healthy food without pretense resonates beyond the Faces dining room, through its bakery and the classroom.
Can a restaurant supply healthy baked goods to schools and other retail outlets? Faces Mears Park in St. Paul has succeeded in the latter. It supplies bagels, breads and other products to the LifeTime Fitness health clubs in Minnesota—25 of them. But the schools was another question that turned into an experiment in which David Fhima, chef and owner of Faces, and Wayzata Schools entered into for the 2010/11 school year.
Baking goods for the Wayzata High School proved logistically possible, but ingredient cost, product handling and nutritional labeling requirements ultimately ended the deal with Wayzata.
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