Great Pumpkins, Charlie Brown! We are going to have to go cold turkey and stop visiting the ITSMeals at Provo School District Facebook page, because we simply can’t resist sharing and showcasing their kitchen crews’ creative culinary concoctions crafted in competition! With more than 30 entries in the Utah district’s department-wide contest, these are only a sampling of SN’s favorites. Bookmark this idea to challenge your own cafeteria teams—and engage students—when pumpkin mania returns in Fall 2017. AN IDEA WORTH STEALING Meet The Team As cafeteria staff, you get to know many of your students—but how well do they get to know you? We love a social media campaign we discovered from the Nutrition Services team at Weld RE-4 School District in Windsor, Colo. Each Monday, Tracy Beistel, department secretary, posts a brief profile of a different school nutrition team member on Facebook. Profiles are based on a simple questionnaire. This series started in Spring 2016. In the last month, we’ve been pleased to “meet” Nutrition Services staff members from all across the department. We’ve learned that Cook Kim (1) describes herself as the “super glue that holds the team together.” Once each month, Assistant Cook Cammie (2) calls all the birthday students to the front of the cafeteria and serenades them with “Happy Birthday.” Manager/Chef Dave (3) is also known as “Mr. Lunchman” and cites chili and cinnamon rolls as his favorite school menu items. Food Transport Driver Michelle (4) enjoys reading and baking. Each profile ends with a thank-you to the profilee for being one of WeldRE-4’s “everyday heroes.” Beistel notes that some staffers prefer not to have photos published and a few not to participate at all, but “we respect their decision.” What a simple but effective way to recognize all the unsung heroes in your district! As Beistel reports, “Many times, nutrition service staff members go unnoticed. We are so happy to use this series to introduce them.” SN loves seeing happy parents and grandparents eating school meals with their favorite youngsters! That beaming face! We swoon. Thanks for making our day, Baker Place Elementary, Grovetown, Ga.! We Love Teachers Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools makes our showcase once again—and not because its School Nutrition Services director is SNA president (we swear!). We’re head over heels for this divinely simple promotion to new teachers in the school district. What a fantastic way to develop new supporters and potential partners! This is an easy idea to replicate—and the expiration date is a nice touch to give it some urgency.
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