AN IDEA WORTH STEALING Cafeteria Grow Wall SN has seen its share of school gardens and greenhouses, but the hydroponic “grow wall” in the Miles River Middle School cafeteria is a first! A 14x10-ft. three-tiered plant system is screwed into the wall of the cafeteria and employs a hydroponics approach—which uses water, rather than soil—to grow produce for a school salad bar; a portion of the harvest also is donated to a food pantry in the Hamilton-Wenham (Mass.) Regional School District community. When Life Skills teacher Danielle Petrucci approached Director of Food Services Catherine Donovan, MEd, SNS, about expanding a smaller classroom project to the cafeteria, “I loved it right off the bat,” recounts Donovan. “My staff had a tough time envisioning it, but when all was said and done, they loved it.” The grow wall was custom designed and built by a local garden center, with grant monies from the district’s Education Fund, which also provided some preparation and service equipment for the cafeteria. Last spring, the grow wall produced lettuce—some 300 heads! As for future crops? “We’re still in the learning process, so we’ll need to see what works and what doesn’t,” Donovan reports. “I’m hoping for herbs— basil for pesto—and Danielle thinks she can grow strawberries. We’ll see!” Donovan urges interested peers to find a champion who can promote the learning angles of such a project, as this can help in winning approval from administrators juggling academic priorities. And if someone approaches you about an out-of-the-box project? “Come from a place of ‘yes,’” she advises. Imagine that it can work before you start focusing on why it can’t. Learn More: (978) 468-0398, firstname.lastname@example.org Who could resist such “ap-peel-ing” fruit on the cafeteria line each day!? Simple messages written with food-safe markers surely will bring smiles to student faces and encourage them to eat fruit! These creative examples are courtesy of Tennessee’s Cleveland City School District and Georgia’s Haralson County Schools.￼ BACK TO SCHOOL 2016 Cafeteria teams went back to school themselves in August, learning new skills, celebrating achievements and getting excited to greet students for another fantastic year ahead! What a simple, but elegant way to promote upcoming new menu items on the cafeteria serving line! The display signage paired with samples on the tray make an irresistible combination. It’s a great idea from the cafeteria team at Southwest High School in Bibb County (Ga.) School District. DO OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO TRY! THERE’S NO REASON FOR ALL THE FUN TO BE RESERVED ONLY FOR ENTERTAINING STUDENTS! At its busy annual back-to-school training meeting, the Force was strong with the Food and Nutrition Services management team at El Paso (Texas) Independent School District. They combined great education with a playful theme that they want all staff to pass along to young customers this year: Eat Smart You Must!
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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