Fulton students to encounter changes in school cafeterias

by Nicole Reitz

Fulton Board of Education members got a lesson in nutrition Tuesday night during a presentation made by Terry Warwick, director of Food Services.

A letter will be sent home to parents to make them aware of the changes that will be made during this school year that will impact the schools food program.

Federal regulations will require schools to offer a wider variety of nutritious foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Meals will also decrease in sodium, saturated fat, and portion sizes will be adjusted by grade level.

The changes being made are the result of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Schools nationwide must prove that meals are nutritious and meet certain criteria.

It is important that meals served in the Fulton City schools do follow regulations because the district receives 6 cents per lunch meal sold from the State Education Department, said Warwick.

She noted that 3,500 total meals are served a day between the six schools, which means that the district earns over $20,000 yearly from the state Education Department as long as meals served are in compliance.

The state must conduct validation reviews of 25 percent of the Local Education Agencies (certified in 2012-2013) to ensure the meals served comply with federal nutrition guidelines.

The state may audit a school district at anytime throughout the academic year without prior notification. They look to make sure that despite multiple lines, that all students are offered the required food components.

As the director of Food Services, Warwick works with nutritionists, dietitians, and federal and state agencies to create healthy and appetizing meals.  She said the biggest changes students will see is the decrease in portion sizes in components such as protein and grains.

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