Healthy meals no hot sale at Pine-Richland
By Deborah Deasy
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Uncle Sam's call to “eat more vegetables” apparently fell on deaf ears since the current school year began in the Pine-Richland School District.
Sodexo, the district's food service, is selling about 11 percent fewer reimbursable lunches than expected after implementing changes that were part of the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
“The changes were fairly drastic for the kids,” said Cherry Cerminara, general manager of Sodexo food services for the school district.
“Change takes time, and there were several changes that went into effect, all at once,” Cerminara said.
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act sets nutrient guidelines for kindergartners through high school seniors. It reduces, for example, allowable portions of pizza and meats. The act also requires students to select at least 1⁄2 cup of a fruit or vegetable with each meal.
“Basically, many districts have lost meal counts over this,” Cerminara told the Pine-Richland School Board at the board's April 22 meeting.
The school board unanimously voted at the meeting to approve a new contract with Sodexo that guarantees to return $2,256 to Pine-Richland School District for the next school year. The new contract also maintains current prices for breakfast and lunch at all schools in the district.
Last year, Sodexo guaranteed to return $38,497 to school district. Sodexo now expects to lose nearly $20,000 during the current school year and plans to ultimately pay the district more than $58,000 to meet its contract obligations.
“Sodexo has been working with school administration, students and parents to ensure everyone has a full understanding of the new USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) school meal regulations,” Cerminara said. “As children become accustomed to the change, the expectation is for meals to return to previously seen participation levels.”
Cerminara said Sodexo is working with food companies and recipe developers to ensure that all U.S. schools offer meals with student appeal that also satisfy the federal government's nutritional rules.
“Sodexo is working with reputable groups like the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs — which leads the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement — to help students make healthier choices,” Sodexo spokesman Greg Yost said.
“The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is focused on making healthy choices the easier choice for students, and using concepts of behavioral economics to get students to not only take the required food, but also consume these foods as well.”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Photo Gallery: Pancake dinner at Hiland Presbyterian Church in Ross
- NA graduate inspired to help raise funds
- Fox Chapel, neighboring communities hosting platform tennis national championships
- Hampton to honor Pirates manager, township resident Hurdle
- ‘Cool’ visitor waddles to Ross Elementary
- Pine-Richland principal to return to teaching math
- Mad Dash to raise money for St. Paul’s youth mission work
- Hampton plans to take some gas station land for park-and-ride lot
- Shaler considers dropping floor on lowest grade possible
- Hampton twins earn national academic honors
- Pine-Richland students wrap up Shakespeare unit with festival