JULY 2, 2020 - FOOD SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
Food Service Task Force Subcommittee Meeting
July 2, 2020
Assistant Superintendent, Administrators, Board Member, Food Service Director, Teacher, Parent, Food Service Supervisor, School Nurse, Principal, Assistant Principal
The Assistant Superintendent opened the meeting and welcomed everyone and thanked them for being part of this very important subcommittee. Instead of going over the slide presentation he said he would like to hear everyone's thoughts, concerns and ideas.
The parent’s main concern was getting meals to children who have food allergies and children with food insecurities and eating in a safe and clean environment if eating in the cafeteria is not an option.
The parent was also concerned about the children who have food allergies and food insecurities. Additionally, she was concerned with keeping infection transmission low among the children and staff.
School Nurse-Elementary Level
The nurse was also concerned about keeping the children safe and transmission low. She said teachers at the elementary school level are aware of the allergies in their own classrooms. At FFMS and the high schools it is more difficult due to the amount of students that each teacher comes in contact with. She is concerned about the hygiene of the desks, and safe handling of utensils if children eat in the classroom. Between lunches in the cafeteria the custodians can do sanitizing but cleaning the classrooms may be more difficult.
The parent was concerned about children with allergies. If the children wear masks would that pose a challenge during lunch. She also asked if bagged lunches would be provided by the Food Service Department. She also inquired about the Rams Cave at North and the student store at South and how the services they provide could be handled.
Food Service Supervisor
The Supervisor suggested that instead of twelve students to a table in the cafeteria they go to four students to a table. For social distancing instead of more than one grade that there would be one grade at a time in the cafeteria. She also suggested that the utensils be wrapped for eating in the classroom. Some concerns she had were:
- Cleaning up the classroom after lunch and who will be doing it.
- Will wipes be provided?
- Allergies and how it will be handled when eating in the classroom.
As a special education teacher she brought up concerns that children need help opening containers and with eating. Because children in Kindergarten and first grade need a lot of assistance at lunch time, you come in close contact with them. The teacher also brought up the fact that some of our students who use Rifton chairs will need seating arrangements that accommodate these chairs if they are not eating in the cafeteria. She also said that eating in the classroom will require more clean up by the custodian.
Senior Food Supervisor
She was on the call but had a computer issue but will send her questions and/or concerns to the Food Service Director.
The Assistant Principal praised the Food Service Director and his staff for the wonderful job that they have done during this ongoing pandemic. She mentioned kids are ready to be social and there are large numbers of students who eat in the cafeteria every day which would make the six feet social distancing requirement difficult. More staff may be needed to monitor social distancing. Some of her questions:
- Where and how many students are going to eat together?
- How many students are coming back?
The Principal said we need to continue to feed families in need. She is also concerned about the children with food allergies and the challenges of eating in the classroom versus the cafeteria. The manpower to clean up if the children eat in the classroom is a concern. She suggested that a grab and go lunch instead of a hot option may be an idea. If the length of the school day is altered the children may not be eating at school. There are a lot of unanswered questions and one is that we don’t know how many students will be in the building at one time.
Food Service Director
The Director said that since the closing of school which commenced on March 12th, the Food Service Department has served 68,000 meals. His staff already wears masks, gloves and practices social distancing. He stated the services offered by Food Services is dependent on the model of reopening of school that is chosen by the District. The middle school and the high will be more difficult than the elementary schools. Some ideas:
Eating in the cafeteria:
- Take students' lunch order in the morning.
- Students will have assigned seating and their food will be waiting for them at their seat.
- Practice social distancing with the seating arrangements.
Eating in the Classroom:
- Food is pre-wrapped
- Utensils are wrapped
- Lunch can be wrapped in a foil bag.
- Pizza can be individually wrapped.
- Entrees will be limited for classroom eating. Items that are too sloppy will not be served such as tacos and pasta with sauce.
- Fabric coolers have been purchased for use if students will be eating in the classroom.
Some of the questions/concerns that came up from the Survey Monkey that was sent out were:
- Can lunches be boxed or bagged?
- Can the Food Service Department provide both hot and cold lunches?
- Some parents only want hot food as they feel keeping food cold food may be an issue.
- How do students pay for food since they usually punch in their pin number?
- Will there be signs for social distancing and sanitizers?
- Do we still feed the students that are not coming to school?
Board Member and Parent
Some suggestions and concerns that she had:
- Ensure safety and cleaning of classrooms if students do not eat in the cafeteria.
- She liked the idea of grab and go lunch. Can we keep the food cold?
- Not a fan of classroom eating because the students would be sitting in one place all day.
- Paying for lunch-What will be the process? Maybe an iPad for the food service worker.
The Assistant Superintendent brought up the point that low technology or no technology may be the answer. The staff member could put in the student’s pin number.
The Food Service Director stated that some of the buildings differ with technology in different parts and the staff may find this intimidating. But the staff could be trained. He stated concern about the speed of service because of the allotted time for lunch.
The Assistant Superintendent stated that keeping students in the cohort model limits exposure but it is hard for students to sit all day in the same room at a desk. Providing meals for distance learners will continue.
The Board Member stated that Food Service will look different this coming year and one size does not fit all. Elementary will be different from the high school.
The Assistant Superintendent stated that isolation is the best way to keep the virus down. If the students eat in the cafeteria there will not be enough time to clean before the next group comes in. Health and safety and instruction will drive everything else.