Food Management Digizine - Q1 2023

Show kids where their food comes from This is cool. Fork Farms, LLC sells hydroponic gardens across the country that require minimal effort and pump out some fancy greens (and cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, herbs, peppers… anything that’s not a root veggie!). Feature that baby right in your cafeteria so kids can look at it when they’re coming through your line. Then, when you serve the produce on the line, tell them exactly where it came from! Don’t be afraid to give them samples off the unit either. And have them help grow the food. Find a support group Other directors in your area are a great start! You need to bounce ideas (or frustrations) off someone. Let’s face it: we speak a different language. No one knows direct diversion, reimbursable meal, or all our acronyms like our counterparts in other districts. We have the luxury of not competing – so share your good ideas!

the menu. It’s great to go back to that school and have the kids say, “I asked you for smoothies and it was on the menu the next month!” It means a lot to them to know you’re listening. Talk with your legislator Show them pictures, videos, testimonials. You are the expert and they’re working for you. Don’t forget how important your voice is, even if you feel like you’re never being heard. As school nutrition directors, we longed for the days where we could feed all kids for free. It happened, and it was awesome! To go backwards was so disheartening, but we need to make sure we’re still informing our legislators of our needs. Beat your drum! You deserve it!

You’re going to see what’s trending as a menu concept from every food broker out there. They have great insight and great ideas! It doesn’t matter how good you think the food is, though, if your kids aren’t eating it. This year, I want the #1 trending item in your district to be the kids. What do they want? What do they deserve? How can we make them successful? Trends are ever changing, so are kids. Make them the trend you follow into the rest of your career. You’ll thank yourself later!

Hydroponic farming with the Flex Farm from Fork Farms

Learn more about Ashwaubenon School District’s journey in hydroponic farming with Fork Farms in this episode of First Taste TV.

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