School District is Outsourcing to Provide a Healthy Meal Program - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/20/07 - Diboll

School District is Outsourcing to Provide a Healthy Meal Program

by Ramonica R. Jones

For the first time, students in Diboll will have a say in what's on the menu in their school cafeteria. The district started looking at changing its meal program a year ago and now, administrators are going outside the district to revamp the meal plan. The goal is to offer kids more tasty and healthy lunch options.

Interim Superintendent Brent Hawkins said, "Diboll I.S.D.'s child nutrition program has been quite profitable in the past and my philosophy is we don't need to make a profit in that department. What we need to do is provide the best quality meals with a healthy array of choices to our students."

Chartwheels analyzed the menu at Diboll Middle School over a 21 day period. Under the new system, students will go from having 17 meal choices to 48 different options over the same time period. The new lunch options will range from American food to Italian cuisine to salads.

Cafeteria manager, Brenda Herrada, said, "The food choices in the past - you didn't have much to choose from. I feel like it's come a long way."

Outsourcing is less expensive than the district's current nutrition plan and those savings will be passed on to the students, who will have plenty of input through surveys and student advisory committees.

"I think when all is said and done and we've got happy, full kids going home to parents, the parents are going to be tickled to death," said Hawkins.

Diboll school leaders unanimously approved outsourcing with Chartwheels at a meeting Thursday night. The Colorado-based business is the largest child nutrition company in the country.

The change will not affect the current cafeteria workers in the Diboll I.S.D.

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