Food & Nutrition Program Starts Fresh With New Offerings

     Published on 7/27/15   Tagged under:    District News   

One of the most important ways we can help our children perform better academically is to provide them with the nutrition necessary for the healthy growth of their minds and bodies.
 
Since 2000-2001, the SCSD has been offering free breakfast; in 2012-2013, lunch and an after school snack were added as an offering to all students, free of charge. The challenge? Finding nutritious foods that students actually want to eat!
 
Today, participation is strong and rising, with 10,500 breakfasts, 14,600 lunches and 6,700 snacks distributed each day through these nutrition programs.
 
The key to success? Student input. From hosting taste tests of potential new menu items to making the process of getting a meal easier, Ken Warner, Director of Food and Nutrition, said his staff is always looking for ways to encourage more students to participate.
 
Next school year, students will enjoy several new menu items, each meeting USDA dietary guidelines. New selections will include a cinnamon swirl roll and French toast for breakfast, sloppy joe, cheesy chicken bake with broccoli and rice and Chicken Jambalaya for lunch. “This also continues our mission to serve more from-scratch food,” Mr. Warner explained.
 
New carousel vending machines will also be installed for the new year, offering a wider variety of foods. At Danforth Middle School, students will notice a new service line, and high schools will receive mobile service lines that will add another point of service for the students, reducing the time necessary to get a meal.
 
Even with summer in full swing, the SCSD Food and Nutrition program is still at work, offering breakfast and lunch not only at summer school locations but also at select parks and churches in the city limits.
 
For the latest on the SCSD Food and Nutrition program, including menus, recipes and more, please visit the SCSD Food & Nutrition website

Starting the Day Off Right: A New Model for Breakfast
 
A healthy breakfast is key to a student’s academic performance. The SCSD was ahead of the game nationally in creating an effective breakfast program, which includes several models: breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, vended breakfast and cafeteria service. Initiated by Superintendent Contreras in 2011, the variety of breakfast programs significantly increased the number of students eating free breakfast each day. In fact, the SCSD was acknowledged by the Food Research and Action Council (FRAC) as one of the country's most successful large city school districts in its service of breakfast to students! Daily, our service of 10,500-11,000 breakfasts places Syracuse above the national average. Instead of requiring students to go to a cafeteria to eat breakfast before school, students are now offered other options to provide them with the convenience of an accessible and healthy breakfast!