For anyone who remembers their school lunches from yesteryear, the culinary offerings probably have improved over the decades.
A Peters Township School Board member is leading an effort to make sure they continue to improve in her district.
Jennifer Grossman announced the formation of a new school lunch advisory committee that also includes administrators, PTA members and some of the folks who have a particularly vested interest: the students.
“The purpose of the committee is to update our school lunch program across all the schools,” she said at Monday’s school board meeting. “The goal is to hear about what kinds of foods kids enjoy, what can we be doing better in the cafeteria and then by the end of the summer we should have some new menus available to roll out for the next year.”
Members of the committee planned to meet the following day with representatives of Aramark, the district’s food service contractor to start the process of developing new offerings.
“Part of our contract is to form an advisory committee,” Grossman said. “So we’re actually being a little bit proactive in doing this.”
By Memorial Day, the committee plans to distribute a survey of students and parents to help determine lunch preferences.
“The end goal is to increase participation in the school lunch program,” Grossman said.
Along with the food, itself, the committee intends to address other aspects of the program such as waste and environmental considerations.
“At the beginning of the year, we had hoped to start using our biodegradable trays instead of using Styrofoam. Then COVID happened. But that certainly is on the radar,” Grossman said. “Next year, we might still have some COVID restrictions, so all of our ideas may not be implemented at once.”
During the 2020-21 academic year, the district has partnered with Aramark to support families of students enrolled in remote learning to make meals available for pickup each school day.