Throwback with TODAY
Nutrition Centers Replace Traditional Cafeterias
February 1995 (2nd issue) page 44
To best digest the sweet food of knowledge offered each day by their teachers, Upper St. Clair students first need - food. The dedicated employees in each of the district's six nutrition centers serve thousands of healthful meals each day - meals that play an important role in the education of the children. As Janet Tucker, Manager of the High School Nutrition Center, says, "Our children can't learn without proper nutrition."
In fact, there's a good reason that nutrition centers aren't called cafeterias anymore. Each of the six managers spoke of the importance of a nutritious meal and how a good, healthful breakfast and lunch contribute to a child's daily experience at school. Ester Miller, Manager of Eisenhower Elementary School's Nutrition Center, stresses the periodic introduction of new foods and the reduction of fats and sodium. At Streams Elementary School, children are encouraged to taste all the foods that are offered. Manager Janet Leghorn says, "All of us feel we are an important step in the many steps a child takes each day to grow and learn."
Mary Ann Maddigan, Manager at Baker Elementary School's Nutrition Center, says of her staff, "We enjoy watching the first and second graders building salads. They choose things that are good for them - vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower - things that we would never have chosen when we were children! When we see how much they enjoy the salad bar, it's worth the extra effort it takes to put it together."
Despite the large number of meals and drinks and snacks served each day, the nutrition center staff manages to keep the service on a personal level. Donna Pembroke, Manager at the Fort Couch Nutrition Center, even accommodates the seventh and eighth graders who return to school after having had their braces tightened. They're offered homemade soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and soft serve ice cream.
Mrs. Pembroke adds, "They are always grateful and realize that we really are here for them. All of my staff have children, and we treat our Fort Couch students like our own kids. We love them, even though they sometimes give us headaches!"
The employees at Boyce Middle School Nutrition Center have a combined fifty-one years of service. Jan Adamson, Manager at Boyce, says, "Our main objective is to present a healthy lunch to the students and staff. A nutritious breakfast is offered at each school." Janet Tucker says, "In this busy time when a lot of moms are off to work, we are here bright and early to serve breakfast - and soon after comes lunch."
Under the supervision of Nicholas Melucci, Director of Food Service for Upper St. Clair Schools, the nutrition center managers and their dedicated staffs provide more than healthful meals. The staff provides a happy break from the classroom and the nourishment that allows the children to return to the classroom, ready to learn. The staff combines professional excellence and personal attention which adds to the overall quality of education in our schools.