NUTRITION SERVICES NEWS & MEDIA
GET COOKIN'! The Nutrition Services Department is holding it's first recipe contest! Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 winners. The deadline to submit all entries has been extended to Feb. 28, 2020. The top 10 finalists will prepare their entries for judging on March 12, 2020 at the Central Kitchen. Please click here for a printable version of the Contest Guidelines and Entry Form. Get your entry form turned in by 2/28/2020!
She can handle the heat, but she's getting out of the BHS kitchen
The scene could not be more frightening: a cool breeze filling a cafeteria, lines out the doors, more than 1,200 high school students with hunger in their eyes, ready to chow down on whatever they could get their hands on. It's chaotic, hectic and straight out of a horror movie — fitting for Halloween. But for BHS cafeteria supervisor Virginia Scott, it's just a regular Thursday when turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes is on the menu.
A handful of nutrition service workers prepare around 3,000 meals — breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner — every single day at BHS. Beginning at 6 a.m., Scott's team takes temperatures, heats up the kitchen ovens and begins prepping food for about 600 to 700 breakfast eating students. Afterward, nutrition service workers have around 45 minutes to set up stations, finish food preparations and get ready for those 1,200 to 1,300 hungry mouths. They also have to be prepared for the 300 to 400 students looking for a snack and 250 that eat dinner. That's a lot to have on one's plate.
"I like the rush and to stay busy," said Scott. "Kids are here all day long, from sun up to sun down, and they’re hungry."
But even though she can handle the heat, Scott's getting out of the kitchen after 13 years. Scott is hanging up her chef's coat after three years at BHS, following 10 years at Centennial High School as a nutrition service worker. At Centennial, she began by serving 400 to 500 students, which at that point she thought was a lot. Once she got the hang of feeding the large group, she realized she wanted to become a supervisor. She began training with one of the lead nutrition service workers and helped fill in for the supervisor whenever necessary.
When the supervisor spot opened up at BHS, it was an opportunity Scott was hungry for, and despite the number of mouths she would have to feed more than doubled in size, she was ready for the challenge. "The lines were just touching the walls," she said, describing students stretching from one end of the cafeteria to the other on her first day. "I’m looking at this like oh, my goodness."
One of the biggest adjustments and challenges was how much food to order each week. Every two weeks shipments come in that include 10 cases of hamburger patties and 12 cases of spicy chicken — at least. When a favorite dish hits the menu — such as turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes or orange chicken — she has to be sure 600 servings are ready.
"You don’t want to run out of food," Scott said bluntly.
Throughout her career, several changes have taken place in Kern High School District's kitchens. Cafeteria workers have gone from simply serving pizza, french fries, soda and other "junk food" items to now including whole wheat and whole grain products, she explained. But it differs at each site. "Our kids here, they love their salad," and the staff prepares about 150 to 200 entree salads each day. Other schools might only make about 25.
What has helped Scott adjust to it all has been her staff, she explained. It's a group effort, and she keeps a good attitude in the kitchen, which, in turn, has made her "the best supervisor" many have had at BHS.
"She's a good person," said Rhonda Mills, a 22-year nutrition services worker. "She cares about what goes on in the kitchen and outside of it ... she brings a good calm," which helps once those long lines appear.
"She brings a lot into the word teamwork," agreed Janie Everly, who is also a special education instructional aide. "I look forward to coming to work every day."
What's next is being a field coordinator for nutrition services with KHSD. BHS will be one of the schools she will manage, so it's not goodbye forever.
"I am proud to have been part of the Driller Team and I am grateful for each and every one here," she wrote in a final email to the BHS staff. "At the end of the day we are all a team and it's all about the students and their well-being."
KHSD Nutrition Services at the Kern County Fair (September 2019)
The Nutrition Services Department wheeled out its food cart to the fair to feed students. Any student in the Kern High School District can visit the cart located behind the grandstand between 11:30 - 12:30, Monday through Fridays during the fair to pick up a free lunch.
Mira Monte's food service staff wanted to spread a little holiday cheer to students they say brighten their day. (December 2018)
For the video story, please click on this link: Mira Monte Cafeteria Staff's Holiday Cheer
National School Lunch Week, October 15-19, 2018
To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Kern High School District will celebrate National School Lunch Week from October 15-19, 2018. National School Lunch Week was created in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. It's a week long celebration designed to promote the benefits of participating in the National School Lunch Program. The week recognizes the importance of a healthy school lunch in a student's life and the impact it has inside and outside of the classroom. The theme this year, "Lots 2 Love," encourages students and school nutrition professionals across the country to share what they love most about school lunch programs.
National School Lunch Week will emphasize the healthy foods that are offered daily at all KHSD schools. During this week all site administrators are invited to participate in the operation of lunch service to greet the students or dish up an entree or side! Activities will be held to raise awareness of the lunch program and increase participation.
"School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium," said Jennifer Davis, Food Services Director. "National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer."
The "Lots 2 Love" campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. Parents and students can follow the fun using the hashtags #NSLW18, #SchoolLunch, and #Lots2Love. For more information on National School Lunch Week, visit https://schoolnutrition.org/nslw/
Click on the links below for printable versions of the flyers:
Mira Monte Cafeteria Manager Adds Positive Messages to Lunch Trays to Give Students a Boost in their Day
Original Story 23ABC News, September 5, 2018
Mira Monte cafeteria supervisor Karen Stanier, made good on a great idea she had to provide positive messages to students coming through the lunch line. With the help of a group of students, happy and inspiring notes and messages were written on the bottom of meal trays. The trays were handed out during lunch service to unsuspecting students, who were then rewarded with an uplifting message when they spotted the bottom of their tray.
Karen's idea was inspired by knowing what a difference a kind word or positive message can make to someone.
For the full story and video please click on this link: Human Kindness at Mira Monte
KHSD Offering Free Lunch and Breakfast to Qualifying CEP Sites
Original Story by Tori Cooper, 23 ABC News, Aug. 9, 2018
The Kern High School District has several sites participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program this year, for the first time. Implementation of the new program means free breakfast and lunch meals to all students who attend the designated CEP sites.
Comprehensive CEP Sites: Arvin; BHS; East; Foothill; Golden Valley; Highland; Kern Valley; Mira Monte; North; Shafter; South; West
Continuation and Special Ed CEP Sites: ABLE Center; Central Valley; Nueva; Tierra Del Sol, Vista; Vista West
For the full story and video, click this link: Free Lunch and Breakfast
KHSD Provides Free Meals During Summer Break