Summary: New name for the central office team with the same mission: tasty and healthy meals for students!
The Seattle Public Schools Nutrition Services Department has been renamed to better reflect the department’s overall mission and its services to students, families, and staff. As of this week, the department will be called Culinary Services.
During the 2021-2022 school year, hot meals and take-out meals will be offered in the 104 schools. The structure of the lunch may appear different in order to follow health and safety protocols. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge to all students throughout the school year.
For Kindergarten to Grade 5 students participating in the Virtual Option Pilot Program, students will have access to a pickup option at a school near them.
Since Culinary Services Director Aaron Smith joined SPS in 2018, he has strived to create tasty and healthy meals that are culturally relevant to our students.
The Culinary Services team asked school communities for feedback on new menu items in 2019. Students and families tried out dishes including Somali chicken stew, lemongrass chicken dumplings, misir wot with ingera, smoked salmon chowder, chicken tinga, beef brisket and chickpeas. Tikka Masala.
“Over the past two years, while the team has done a great job providing meals for students, we’ve also focused on the creative side of what we serve and what we decide to put on the menu.” , said the director. Black-smith. “We are placing more emphasis on creating recipes and serving culturally relevant meals to our students, while prioritizing their nutritional needs. ”
During distance learning, staff mobilized to provide key support to students and families. Last fall, the ministry distributed an average of 30,000 meals a day. Meals included breakfast and lunch for students, as well as a new program featuring fresh fruits and vegetables.
The department has also started working with students to prepare them for careers by creating online and in-person cooking classes for students and families.
Before finalizing the name change, Smith solicited feedback from students, families, SPS directors and community groups.
“Through the commitment we made, we identified the possibility of expanding the department to foodservice, adding a dinner program and possibly adding a food truck,” said manager Smith.
Thank you to our culinary services staff across the district for supporting students and families. Their work will be essential in supporting 180 Days of Excellence – the number of days in the 2021-2022 school year – this fall.