Food Services Department
Food Services Department
Cafeteria and Food Services
The PCSD cafeterias’ school breakfast and menus have taken the lead in providing healthier meal choices. The Food Services Department is committed to promoting fresh produce from New York State. Part of the expense of buying fresh fruits and vegetables is offset by the District’s participation in a federal government program to distribute fresh apples & apple slices, pears, oranges, potatoes, and baby carrots. The school menus now offer more vegetarian foods, such as whole grain spaghetti, pizza and veggie burgers.
Food Services is also involved in the proposed capital project. In the interests of food safety, nutrition and health education, the District needs to upgrade renovate Oak Street Elementary School kitchen, install sneeze guards on salad bars, replace major pieces of kitchen equipment in all district buildings – walk-in freezers, walk-in coolers, floor mixers, steamers, etc.
Team Adirondack Breakfast & Lunch Education (TABLE) Committee
Charlene O’Connor, PCSD Food Services Manager, also serves as the District’s representative on the TABLE Committee, a group of local school food services directors, CVPH Medical Center and the Clinton County Health Dept..
TABLE meets monthly to share information on upcoming government grants, plan and conduct a variety of nutrition and health activities. These include the establishment of nutrition standards for beverages and snacks sold in schools, nutrition curriculum development, hosting of a school food fair for students to help choose healthier options in the academic setting, and sponsorship of a variety of educational workshops for staff and faculty.
The TABLE Committee’s 2007-08 goals are to:
- Promote portion size education to students, parents teachers and staff in the school community
- Collaborate with community partners to increase participation in free and reduced cost lunches and breakfast programs
- Engage in a marketing initiative to improve awareness of, and increase participation in the school meal progress
One of last year’s goals was the adoption and enforcement of the federal Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines for food safety in schools, known as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point). This involves the proper handling and storage of food, awareness of product recalls and potentially unsafe foods and beverages, such as unpasteurized juice and cider.
Fitness Center Through the TABLE Committee, the Plattsburgh City School District has benefited from grants and donated equipment to implement nutrition and exercise programs in its schools. The District can then use the freed-up funds to purchase fresh produce to serve in the school cafeterias.
Get Up & Go Breakfast Cart – students begin the day with a healthy breakfast and commit to take 10,000 steps per day, approximately 5 miles. Students are provided with a free step-meter to track their progress, and can enter a drawing for prizes (t-shirts, etc.).
The Clinton County Health Department’s “1% or Less – YES!” program that promotes the healthy intake of calcium through low fat milk products, donated a $6,000 milk vending machine (see photo above) to provide student, faculty and staff with a healthy alternative to soda or commercial “fruit” based beverages, which contain high levels of sugar.
To address the issue of obesity in youth, the District received a $3,000 grant to promote healthy cafeteria foods to students: high fiber whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eat Well, Play Hard Community Project works to implement three major strategies in children: increasing consumption of low-fat dairy, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and increasing appropriate physical activity. Community-wide strategies such as these have been effective in changing behaviors and developing healthy habits in families to help reduce childhood obesity and decrease rates of chronic diseases.
School Beat Healthy Heart Program – gave PCSD a $5,400 grant to purchase kitchen equipment in 2006-07. Food Services purchased warming cabinets to store cooked vegetables, pots, pans and general kitchen utensils which also frees up more funds to purchase fresh produce.
The School Beat Healthy Heart Program also provides the School Health Index which will help the District:
- Identify strengths and weaknesses of its health promotion policies and programs
- Develop an action plan for improving student health
- Involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school programs
Mrs. Charlene O’Connor
Director of Food Services
(518) 957-6000 x.5093 | Email