Whew! It has been a busy few months to say the least. I'm still recovering from our three district comprehensive food service audit, which was an incredibly time-consuming and arduous process. Our "findings" and corrective actions were minimal compared to years past. It's great to hear that our food service program is doing better in many aspects, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). I also learned a lot during the whole process and that is certainly a theme for us as a department this year. All-in-all, we made it through and now I can get back to finding more ways to improve our ARPS Food Service as a whole!
One exciting (new) thing to share: We have a wonderful UMass intern who is working with me this semester. Sierra Torres is helping me research different breakfast models that school districts are implementing across the state. They are having a lot of success with programs like Breakfast in the Classroom and a Grab and Go Breakfast Kiosk. We're exploring which model(s) might work best here in Amherst, Pelham, and the Regional Schools and are hoping to pilot a new breakfast model this summer!
A group of us recently visited Greenfield's Federal St. Elementary School and we spoke with the Director of Food Services, Madison Walker, along with teachers, kitchen staff, and custodians. Below a Guest Blog post from Sierra about our field trip.
We have a few more field trips planned to visit other schools who are implementing innovative breakfast programs at their schools as well. If you would like to join us on a future field trip, please contact me and I can tell you when the next one will be!
Thanks for reading and check back soon for more exciting updates. -RH
Director of Food Service for Amherst, Pelham, and the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District. We'll be posting updates to the program as we go along!.