UD School Board Given Update of Food Services
Upper Dublin Food Services has been working toward complying with administrative guidelines as well as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.
At Monday's Upper Dublin School Board Meeting, Food Services Director, Patti Dell'Aringa, and Assistant Food Service Director Melissa Froehlich gave a presentation on the current state of the district's food services, as well as the Nutrition Advisory Committee.
Neil Evans, Director of Pupil Services, explained that there are two Food Services Committees: A Wellness Committee, which is an advisory committee for student health issues, and the Nutrition Advisory Committee, which has nine voting members, including four community members, one student member, and four administrative members.
Evans said that the community members that were chosen to serve on the committee will be a diverse background to the committee.
In background, Dell'Aringa said that at the end of the 2010-11 school year, Food Services held a Wellness Summit to discuss the district's Wellness Policy. Froehlich added that last school year, Food Services began preparing for the implementation of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which included introducing My Plate and Make Your Plate Colorful menu cards.
Dell'Aringa added that new wellness regulations and administrative guidelines were passed in 2011, which includes a list of 15 items on an "Avoid List." These items include aspartame, MSG, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, saccharin and more.
However, she added that to comply with the "avoid list," Food Services have had many special order items, including hot dogs, chicken chunks, and chicken patties, all which cost more to Food Services while the cost of school lunches have not increased.
She continued that snack choices that can be offered during lunches are limited because of the "avoid list." Dell'Aringa cited one distributor for the district offers 95 snack items, but only 28 pass the UDFS "avoid list." She said that Baked Doritos, Welch's Fruit Snacks, and General Mills Fiber One Bar all don't pass the Upper Dublin Regulations.
This year, the HHFKA goes into effect, which changes the way lunches are provided to students. This year, students must take a fruit and a vegetable and UDFS must serve more of both than they did in previous years. There are also caps on the amount of calories that can be served daily and weekly, as well as amount of bread and grains and meats.
Dell'Aringa added that UDFS is looking at installing a fresh and healthy vending machine, which will add an additional selection of snack items that other distributors do not offer.
The "avoid list" is scheduled to be reviewed at an upcoming Nutrition Advisory Committee meeting and will be reviewed annually.