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UD School Board Given Update of Food Services

Upper Dublin Food Services has been working toward complying with administrative guidelines as well as the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

At Monday's , Food Services Director, Patti Dell'Aringa, and Assistant Food Service Director Melissa Froehlich gave a presentation on the current state of the district's food services, as well as the Nutrition Advisory Committee.

Neil Evans, Director of Pupil Services, explained that there are two Food Services Committees: A Wellness Committee, which is an advisory committee for student health issues, and the Nutrition Advisory Committee, which has nine voting members, including four community members, one student member, and four administrative members.

Evans said that the community members that were chosen to serve on the committee will be a diverse background to the committee.

In background, Dell'Aringa said that at the end of the 2010-11 school year, Food Services held a Wellness Summit to discuss the district's Wellness Policy. Froehlich added that last school year, Food Services began preparing for the implementation of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which included introducing My Plate and Make Your Plate Colorful menu cards.

Dell'Aringa added that new wellness regulations and administrative guidelines were passed in 2011, which includes a list of 15 items on an "Avoid List." These items include aspartame, MSG, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, saccharin and more.

However, she added that to comply with the "avoid list," Food Services have had many special order items, including hot dogs, chicken chunks, and chicken patties, all which cost more to Food Services while the cost of school lunches have not increased.

She continued that snack choices that can be offered during lunches are limited because of the "avoid list." Dell'Aringa cited one distributor for the district offers 95 snack items, but only 28 pass the UDFS "avoid list." She said that Baked Doritos, Welch's Fruit Snacks, and General Mills Fiber One Bar all don't pass the Upper Dublin Regulations.

This year, the HHFKA goes into effect, which changes the way lunches are provided to students. This year, students must take a fruit and a vegetable and UDFS must serve more of both than they did in previous years. There are also caps on the amount of calories that can be served daily and weekly, as well as amount of bread and grains and meats.

Dell'Aringa added that UDFS is looking at installing a fresh and healthy vending machine, which will add an additional selection of snack items that other distributors do not offer.

Parents and students can learn more about UDFS on their WikiSpaces page or on their Facebook page.

The "avoid list" is scheduled to be reviewed at an upcoming Nutrition Advisory Committee meeting and will be reviewed annually.

Mary Keptke September 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Right on Joe!!
Allan Posner September 13, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I agree with both of you. Certain individuals or parents including Jill Florin in our district feel they can dictate to ALL our children what they should or should not eat. My children have the right to drink whatever kind of milk they want or any other foods. Nutrition starts at home. If you want nutrition pack your kids lunch. The minutes in a school cafeteria will not solve nutrition issues, obesity or any other problems. School lunches have never been nutritious even back in the 60's when I went to school. STOP DICTATING TO OTHERS. GET A LIFE. Allan Posner
Shira B. September 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Offering healthier foods in the schools is particularly important for the kids in the district who receive free or reduced-cost lunches and breakfasts. Often these children have the deck stacked against them in many ways already. Sending them into the world without healthy nutritional habits just makes their journey that much harder.
Joe September 13, 2012 at 03:16 PM
@Dresher Mom: I agree that providing health choices at the elementary school level and educating the kids as to good eating is important. At the middle school and high school level, we are being foolish to believe we are going to change their habits. Athetes are unable to get the caloric intake they need from the meals, Again, they can suppliment their lunches as well. This is public school. The food serrvices by their own admission is now losing $$, I did not make this up. We can not be all things to all people. We are not supporting a private school. If the district wants to surcharge those households with students in the schools, that's fine with me, otherwise I have paid my dues ie: school taxes with no students in school. I believe over 70% of residents in the township DO NOT have students in the school system!!
Joe September 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I do own the land it sits on, that's why I had to pay for title insurance. It's funny how we have to accept certain things, but when there is a new plan that would more "fairly" spread the cost of education, it is ridiculed. There is a way out of property taxes feeding the beast of school boards and special interests.

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