Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Food and Nutrition Services Earns USDA Best Practices Award
The Fiscal Management Award recognizes school districts that utilize creative and accountable practices for managing finances in tough economic times including practices that reduce costs and/or increase efficiency in school nutrition programs and efforts to better serve program participants more efficiently with available resources.
FANS was recognized for implementing a districtwide training program to ensure that appropriate food choices were served to meet the requirements of a USDA reimbursable meal. The training resulted in an overall food cost reduction of more than two percent districtwide for the 2014-15 school year at a time when the cost of food products rose over 2.9 percent.
Pelham Road Elementary, the school cited in the application, realized a food cost savings of 12 percent after receiving training in Offer versus Serve (OVS). This program allows students to decline some of the food offered in a reimbursable lunch or breakfast, reducing food waste and permitting students to choose the foods they want to eat. Because students may choose fewer selections under OVS, guidance is provided on what constitutes a reimbursable lunch and breakfast.
Pelham Road Elementary FANS manager Yeda Kapuscinski said, “The OVS class explained why it is so important to let the students choose what they would like to eat instead of putting every component on their tray. By following these guidelines we have less waste.”