From April 21-15, Sharon Elementary School in Forsyth County will participate in Feed My School for a Week, in which 75-100% of the food on students’ lunch trays will be Georgia Grown. Sharon’s cafeteria manager, Dee Mathis, is excited to serve her students more fresh, local food.
“I am excited to participate in the Feed My School program because it highlights what great changes school nutrition has already made in the school lunches we serve,“ Dee says. The school already serves a variety of fruits and vegetable to students daily and Dee feels it is important to showcase how pleasing and nutritious school lunches are now.
She’s been working in school nutrition in Forsyth County for ten years and knows the value of promotion and presentation when it comes to school food. “Anything I can do to get the food out there,” she says. She picks an item every month to promote. Here are some of her tactics:
- Monthly taste tests
- Trivia about that item
- Facts about the fruit or vegetable on the lunch tables
- Recipes in the school newsletter
- Talking up the item on the morning announcements
She also uses herbs from the school garden whenever she can, like in the recipe below for a tomato and cucumber salad. When those herbs are in their lunch, Dee always tries to make the kids aware of it, going on the morning announcements, and telling students they grew part of their lunch. “The kids are much more familiar with me now,” she says. “I’m not just serving them lunch; they know who I am.”