MySchoolBucks is excited to honor the 850,000+ afterschool professionals nationwide who are dedicated to enriching children's lives during out-of-school hours. We are proud to partner with several afterschool programs, and in celebration wish all staff a Happy Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week! With an estimated 10.2 million children participating each year, afterschool programs play a vital role in enhancing education, promoting physical and emotional health, providing a safe environment and exposing youth to new experiences.
I'm sure no one will be shocked to hear that Farm to School has been growing in popularity over the last few years. So much so, that a recent national Farm to School Census conducted by the USDA, showed that roughly 42% of all districts surveyed participate in farm to school activities.
These programs include serving local foods in school meals, holding taste tests and food demonstrations showcasing local foods, and planning student field trips to farms or orchards. Another 16% of school districts surveyed plan to start farm to school activities in the future.
Knowing when it's time to upgrade your cafeteria's POS hardware, versus sticking with what you already own, can have important implications for your foodservice operation. Upgrading too soon is certainly not good for your bottom line. But waiting too long can also be expensive.
Remember the first day you started using your new POS computers? Everything was shiny and clean, your POS system ran fast (or so we hope), and your pin pads worked perfectly. Now fast forward to today. Is that still the same story?
The history of school lunch programs in America is anything but brief. The Children's Aid Society began feeding hungry, needy school children in New York City as far back as 1853. But it wasn't until the late 19th century that some major US cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, started their own school lunch programs. Over the next century, authors, war, and politics continued to shape the school lunch program into what we know it as today.
Did you know that over 82% of internet users ages 18-29 and 79% of internet users ages 30-49 are on Facebook? Even more important than this stat is the fact that many of these users are likely your district's parents. Creating a business page on Facebook to promote your school nutrition program provides a whole new way to engage with parents in a fun and rewarding way. Use it to showcase the nutritious food your staff is preparing each day, build trust with your parents, solicit valuable feedback, and more.
With over 30 million students participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) everyday, you might not be surprised to hear that those same students generate over $600 million in food waste each year. Making an effort to reduce food waste can save your operation money, increase meal consumption in the lunchroom, and help minimize your school's impact on the environment.
Here are some simple solutions to reduce food waste before it happens, recover foods that are on their way to the trash, and recycle food waste that might otherwise end up in a landfill:
Coming up with new, healthy recipes for school cafeterias can be challenging to say the least. Fortunately, many states and organizations across the country have developed cookbooks full of nutritious recipes school kids will love.
Here are 13 of our favorite school cookbooks that feature plenty of locally sourced ingredients and flavors from around the globe:
Having up-to-date student information in your cafeteria point of sale (POS) system is vital to running a successful operation. Serving reimbursable meals, end of the day reporting, and reconciling deposits all depend on the quality of your student information. Understanding how to get this information out of your Student Information System (SIS) and into your POS system is an important first step.
As food costs continue to climb and many families struggle to make ends meet, school districts across the country continue to see a rise in unpaid meal charges. In SNA's State of School Nutrition 2014 survey, nearly 71% of schools reported that their meal program had unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2012-13 school year.