Greetings from the Food & Nutrition Services Director on behalf of all the Robla School District kitchens and kitchen staff! I have been with Robla School District for 32 years and have seen many things, but the most exciting has occurred over the past 9 years. I began my career as a food service assistant at Bell Avenue School and am now the Food Services Director. We currently operate kitchens in all five (5) of our elementary schools and serve our Preschool students from the kitchen at Bell Avenue School. We have approximately 2,400 students enrolled District-wide.
Our department offers all of its meals at no charge to all students regardless of income levels; a policy change that reduces the financial burden on families and helps ensure that all students receive nutritious meals every day. This practice further supports our efforts to promote student achievement by ensuring students are not hungry at school while they are involved in the learning process. We served a total of 371,959 lunches and 186,591 breakfasts last year. We value our partnership with United Way who paved the way for us to provide a supper meal to our after-school students. This year, we provide a healthy supper meal prepared right in our kitchens.
Our Food Service professionals have a strong focus on the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. We offer 10 different vegetables, weekly, in our salad bars along with a variety of 12 different fruits. We also operate a Harvest of the Month program where each student receives a small lesson from his/her teacher about the fruit or vegetable that we are introducing for that month. At lunchtime, students have the opportunity to sample the fruit or vegetable and vote on whether they like it or not.
We also have great partnerships with the Health Education Council and the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Together we host a Walk with Friends parent walking group every Thursday (from 8:30 am-9:00 am) at the Robla Community Park. Parents can come and walk for 30 minutes, after which they receive a bag of fresh produce to take home with them. Once a month, at Main Avenue School, the Sacramento Food Bank brings a truckload of fruits and vegetables to conduct a “Farmers Market”. Students and staff are active participants in the program. Each student receives four dollars of “money” to allocate out among the choices present and then takes their purchases home to share the goodness of fresh produce with their families.
Our food service professionals are dedicated to serving our students in a friendly manner. They are educated in the areas of nutrition, customer service, safety, and sanitation. In 1999, the State of California passed a law that requires one (1) person in each kitchen to be certified as “ServSafe”. I'm proud to say that not one, but all of our Food Service Staff are certified as “ServSafe”. Every 5 years, staff members are retrained in food safety, cleaning, and sanitation to ensure they are current on new techniques or strategies.
The Food Service Department believes that healthier students are also better learners, so we are committed to providing fresh and healthy meals, daily. Our hardworking staff prepares two (2) meals a week from scratch for lunch, and one (1) for breakfast. All of our meals meet or exceed the guidelines on standards for nutrition as established by the US Department of Agriculture.
We welcome questions, comments and thoughts from all of our parents, students and community members and hope you have a wonderful, and healthy, day!
“When you make an effort to eat well, once you begin to feel better, the effort is not so hard.” - Margaret Marshall, retired Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice
Yours in Health,
Food Services Director, Robla School District