In the 2018 School Nutrition Operations Report, 56.5% of districts surveyed offered or planned to serve vegetarian meal options. For many districts, this might include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or meatless pizza. While this may be simple and familiar, there is an opportunity to incorporate more vegetarian meals that meet student's ever-changing taste preferences and provide a wider variety of nutritional value.
Have you heard? Registration for Connect 2020 is open! Join us this spring in Durham, NC from March 31 - April 2, 2020 for our biggest training event of the year. Register before November 1 to save your seat (and some money!)
From in-depth software training to powerful open-forum discussions, Connect 2020 is your chance to connect with schools nationwide to share ideas on how to tackle the challenges facing our industry and build a network of forward-thinking food service directors and staff.
Today’s generation of students - aptly dubbed “iGen” - are more digitally connected and technically savvy than any other group on the planet. They grew up with the internet and never knew a time where information, a photo, or a status, couldn’t be shared in seconds with the swipe of a finger or click of a button.
The manner in which iGens consume information is vastly different than the students that came before them. Most iGen teens are multi-screen users and are accustomed to consuming large amounts of media from multiple touch points all at once. With smartphones in the hands of 95% of teens and the ubiquity of photo, video, and information sharing apps like TikTok, SnapChat, and YouTube, the way that today’s students communicate and engage with one another has drastically evolved. So isn’t it time that we adapt the way we communicate and engage with them?
Last month the Trump Administration published a new rule on something called Public Charge. It creates new barriers for immigrants to achieve permanent status in the U.S. with either a green card or citizenship. In effect, the rule states that any non-citizen who might receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, or Medicaid may not be admitted to the country or be granted legal status. The determination of an immigrant’s likelihood of requiring assistance in the future is a subjective one, but individuals and families that are not wealthy or secure in their employment on arrival will certainly be at risk.
National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is right around the corner starting October 14, 2019! This is the perfect opportunity to promote the importance of your school's lunch program and emphasize why students need to eat healthy meals. NSLW helps highlight the healthy menu options you have in your cafeteria and get students excited to try new foods.
Afterschool Nutrition Programs help millions of low-income students across the country get access to healthy meals they might not otherwise receive outside of school. When districts offer an afterschool nutrition program (ANP), eligible students are able to receive a snack or meal on a weeknight, weekend, and school holiday.
In 2017, more than 46,000 districts participated in ANPs offered through both the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Together, these programs served over 1.07 million children and participation has continued to grow year over year.
The beginning of the school year is a busy time for parent teacher organizations to raise funds for events, field trips, school supplies, athletics, and more. Fundraisers also help PTO or PTA volunteers get involved with their school community to reach their organization's goals. While raising money can be as easy as requesting a donation, hosting events or contests can increase participation and provide a fun experience for families. Here are some unique fundraising ideas for your parent organizations this upcoming school year:
It's no secret that students can get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. Offering different and new menu items can freshen up your meals and get students excited about eating in the cafeteria. Hosting a taste test event is a great way to get students involved in choosing new menu items and learning more about their preferences. A successful taste test gives students the opportunity to try new recipes and share valuable feedback before you start serving them on a regular basis.
Getting started is easier than you think! Here are some strategies to help make your taste testing event successful:
In the wake of recent cybersecurity hacks, districts across the country are on high alert and looking for ways to make sure they don't become the next victim of a cyberattack. In a 2018 study conducted by EdTech, school districts were found to be one of the least secure of the 17 industries surveyed, due in part to a lack of funding allocated to cybersecurity. This has lead to weaker security protections making schools more likely to be targeted by hackers.
There are many different types of cybersecurity threats, but one of the most common is called ransomware. This is when hackers gain unauthorized access to the data on your computer and demand money in order to regain access to it. These threats expose sensitive information of those in your school community, disrupt school operations, and have high recovery costs. This heightens the importance of reviewing internal and external security measures to keep your student and staff information safe.
Over the last 23 years, Greenville County Schools in South Carolina has hosted their annual Greenville County Schools (GCS) Scholarship Tournament. The event brings in hundreds of participants to raise scholarship money for high school seniors. Since its inception, the tournament has raised over $550,000 in scholarship funds to help over 4,000 graduating seniors. In the last few years the tournament has partnered with MySchoolBucks to help collect registrations and payments online.