02/10/12 Gloria Burnam, director of food service for the Plymouth Community School Corporation shared her yearly report with the school Board on Tuesday. She said the number of students eating breakfast has increased from August to January last school year until now by some 8,904. She said from August to January in the 2011-2012 school year, 70,176 breakfast meals were served. The number of lunches served during the same period was 293, 276, but reflected only increase of 7.
According to Burnam, they were required to increase lunch prices by 10 cents last year under the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. At that time, the board voted to follow her recommendation of a 25 cent increase. There will not be a meal increase for the 2012-2013 school year.
She also reported that the final rule for the Nutrition Standards for breakfast and lunch were announced on January 25. She said, “The USDA has given us a timeline for implementation of the meal requirements and must start this coming school year.” She added, “We have 10 years to be compliant with all of the new requirements.”
One change was to divide fruits and vegetables into two separate food groups. Students will have to choose one or the other to make a reimbursable meal, according to Burnam. She said more than one-half of the grains being served now are whole, the sodium levels are two- years ahead of the timeline, and they offer only low fat and fat free milk.
As they add the required legumes that will have to be served one time each week, they are using taste tests before incorporating them into the menus in March. Two of those being tested currently are black bean corn salsa and hummus. Elementary school students will be given kiwi as a trial fruit.
Burnam briefly outlined what was included n a mini-grant at Menominee Elementary that they received as a part of the Healthier US School Challenge. She said they are trying to reach a silver award level.
Board member Todd Samuelson shared his appreciation to the community for the $70,000 worth of donations received throughout the corporation. He said, “They are from various schools for various reasons.”
Carol Anders Correspondent