Vision Council…

Dear HTS Community:

At the December Vision Council meeting, we discussed multiple ways that we could improve the quality of cafeteria offerings for our students.  Multiple parents suggested improving the quality of the food, others suggested improving the “ambience” in the cafeteria and still others recommended improving the outdated equipment. As we start the 2013-14 school year, I am proud to say we have made tremendous strides in all three areas:

1. Maschios has been able to improve the quality of our school lunch this year. Special features include:

  • Whole grain “white rolls” for hot & cold sandwiches.
  • Vegetable burgers in the Grab & Go slider area.
  • Whole chicken products.
  • Lean beef products.
  • Reduced sodium entrees and snacks.
  • Fresh made yogurt parfaits offered as a “swap-out” item on Fridays.
  • Preparing foods with more fresh herbs.
  • Jersey Fresh produce when available – we began this year with fresh peaches and apples from Ripple Hill Farm, Basking Ridge.
  • Farm fresh from our vendor when New Jersey produce is not available.
  • More freshly prepared items – this month’s “Bacon, Egg & Cheese Omelet.”
  • We will be offering a different bean salad on the salad bar once a week.
  • Fresh made smoothies on celebration days.

2. New signage, countertops and serving areas highlight the front of our cafeteria and provide for a consolidated serving area so students can access most non-salad bar items on the main line.

3. We have purchased and installed a new refrigerator, new oven and a new range. These state of the art devices allow for a better range of cooking and serving options.

We hope your children enjoy these changes and invite you all to get involved at our next Vision Council meeting on Wednesday, October 9th at 7:00pm in the L/MC. Jenn Baldassari and Alison Hunter will be presenting to our parents about Singapore Math – specifically how you can help your child with their homework.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

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3 thoughts on “Vision Council…

  1. Thanks for the update on the cafeteria. On a similar note, my daughter (4th grade) has recently asked to make the switch from buying lunch at school everyday to packing and bringing her lunch daily, even on pizza day! I was surprised and as I questioned her, I found that, bottom line, when she purchased lunch, she barely had time to get through the line and eat. It seems that if she brought her lunch, she would have a solid 15+ minutes to eat. Perhaps other parents knew this intuitively or by observation from being at the school regularly. I admit, I am never at the cafeteria at lunchtime, and my daughter’s class had just received a 5 minute talking to by the Principal for being unable to walk as a class in a generally straight line. This delayed their lunch that day. Yet, I believe the problem occurs more often than not. My point, is that all the improvements described in the cafeteria are wonderful but are the students benefiting if they don’t have a sufficient amount of time to eat.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I can check with Mr. Spelker but I believe all the students have the full 20 minutes to eat. I think with the improvements in the food quality, we are seeing an increase in the number of students buying lunch and the lines have increased some. We’ll keep working on it.

  2. We are so pleased to hear about the improvements! Much needed. I do have a question. Many children need some help making healthy eating choices. Have the unhealthy eating choices been eliminated? I ask because in volunteering at lunches I saw children sometimes choose corn dogs day after day. Even turkey corn dogs are quite high in fat content. Having unhealthy choices available daily was much of an issue. Also, children would have a pizza and either not select a veggie or fruit to go with it or toss their veggie and fruit and be going back for a second pizza. I was told the cafeteria folks were supposed to be monitoring this, but in my observations this happened over and over with no intervention. Can anything be done about this?

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