Think about some of your favorite restaurants and what puts them on that list. Possible reasons might include good food, fun atmosphere, variety of options, local ingredients, and healthy selections.
Now, take those elements and put them in your school cafeteria, because that is exactly what Tulsa Public Schools is doing for the 2019-2020 school year! In the fall, our new meal program will use locally sourced ingredients to create fresh meal options and give students a wide range of options.
"We know that our families are counting on us to care for their children every day, and that includes making sure that they have meals that are healthy and that taste great," said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist. "When students are well fed, they are better able to focus on learning, so school meals play an incredibly important role in helping our students stay on track to success."
Providing students with a nutritious meal that they are excited to eat keeps them focused and energized to learn throughout the day, which is why we are moving to these student-focused menus. Students will be able to give feedback that will be used to customize the menu. The information gathered through surveys, focus groups, and other conversations gives our child nutrition staff time to make changes and improvements to the menu within six weeks.
From the first bell to the last, our students are our focus, which is why we are so excited for these student-focused menus and ensuring that each student has access to meals they look forward to eating, including more fruits and vegetables.
"In addition to our incredible teachers and the powerful learning happening in our schools, we want our school breakfast and lunch programs to be one of the many reasons why people choose Tulsa Public Schools for their families," Gist said.
So keep your favorite restaurants in mind this year because our school cafeterias are looking to join the list.
Students will begin to see immediate menu changes in the fall. In the spring, we plan to launch mobile meal carts, vending stations, and an app that will provide students with menu and nutrition information, pre-order options, and the ability to set dietary preferences and provide feedback.