K12Foodies Episode 27: Uncovering the Hidden Talents of Your Staff with Jeanne Pierce, SNS

 

This episode is the type that gets triggers creativity! Jeanne Pierce, the Food Services Director of Exeter Region Cooperative School District (NH), has some great tips to uncovering the hidden talents and passions of your cafeteria staff. Through these efforts, she’s introduced students to new foods, encouraged collaboration between school cafeterias and has a staff that’s invested in the success of their program.

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com.

K12Foodies Episode 26: Top Issues in School Food Service, Part 3: Accountability with JoAnne Robinett, MSA, SNS

 

“The Rock Star Lunchlady” JoAnne Robinett joins us to discuss what she considers are the Top Three Issues in School Food Service today. We wrap up the three-part series with Accountability, and how we each play a role in the accountability of our child nutrition department.

If you missed Part 1, “Customer Service,” you can listen here.
If you missed Part 2, “Food Safety,” you can listen here.

About JoAnne: With over 30 years of experience in child nutrition and is currently the owner of America’s Meal, a school meal consulting and training firm. She has been quoted in USA Today, Parenting Magazine and The Boston Globe. You may have even attended one of JoAnne’s sessions at an SNA event, as she is a frequent speaker at state and national SNA events. For more information, visit her website, America’s Meal.

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

Feature Your Students’ Favorite Recipes in the 2017 Child Nutrition Cookbook

For the third year in a row, Meals Plus is collecting students’ favorite recipes from Meals Plus customers and child nutrition departments from across the country and compiling them into a child nutrition cookbook!

Each Meals Plus customer will receive one free copy of the cookbook, and an electronic copy will be available to download on our website in the Fall of 2017.

We invite you to be a part of the 2017 Child Nutrition Cookbook! Send the most popular recipes from your district that help increase participation to recipes@mealsplus.com and we will take care of the rest.

Click to download the 2015 and 2016 Meals Plus Customer Cookbooks.

How Meals Plus POS Software Helps Prevent Unpaid Lunch Debt

Hello, Meals Plus Matt here!

A recent article in USA Today featured a lucky district that had $13,250 of lunch debt paid off by an anonymous donor. Wouldn’t that be nice?! Unpaid lunch debt is a headache for many districts, and was even featured in a FSD Magazine article, ‘Dealing With Delinquency.’ So you might be interested in how the Meals Plus Point of Sale program can help you recoup some of that money. Reaching parents can be a challenge, so we included the ability to email low balance letters right from the Point of Sale program. Eliminate the time, paper and costs associated with sending a letter home and email instead – fast, efficient, and effective!

Email me or contact me here to learn how Meals Plus can help you recoup lost lunch money and even cut costs at your district. I’m here to serve you!

Oh, and I hope to see you at ANC in Atlanta this summer! There will be so much going on at the Meals Plus booth…more details to follow!

Meals Plus Help Desk Statistics: March 2017

Did you know that Meals Plus generates random surveys after technical support calls? And we carefully analyse the results to ensure our customers have the best experience possible.

Here are just some of the highlights from our March 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey Results:

  • The average time to answer a support call was only 8 seconds.
  • The average talk time was less than 10 minutes. A full minute shorter than last month!
  • And a new member of our Help Desk Team, Nolin, completed a HDI certification class and is now a certified HDI Customer Service Representative. Congratulations, Nolin!

Thank you to the Meals Plus Support Team for their hard work in helping over 400 school districts keep their lunchlines moving!

Millions of Federal Reimbursement Dollars Left on the Table

Hello, Meals Plus Matt here! I thought you might be interested in a surprising statistic from the January 2017 edition of School Nutrition Magazine:

‘Fewer than half of students who qualify for and eat a free or reduced lunch are taking advantage of school breakfast, leaving millions of federal reimbursement dollars on the table annually.’

With a laptop and Meals Plus Point of Sale‘s ‘Offline Mode,’ you can serve students wherever they may be. Take the cafeteria to the students! Grab-and-Go breakfast right off the school bus? No problem!

Meals Plus Point of Sale ‘offline mode’ is just another way we are Keeping The Lunchline Moving! 

Email me or contact me here to find out more.  I’m here to serve you!

K12Foodies Episode 25: Managing Stress with Tami West, PhD

 

Today’s topic is something we can all identify with – stress. Tami West, PhD is the author of “The Stress Club” and led a session on managing stress at the 2016 SNA of Pennsylvania Conference. She’s going to tell us what The Stress Club is, how we joined this club without even realizing it and how we can get out! And with her hands-on experience with child nutrition professionals, we are especially thankful that she is sharing this message here with us on K12Foodies.

Enter to WIN! Tami is giving away a select number of signed copies of her book to some lucky K12Foodies listeners! You can enter our contest by telling us your biggest takeaway from this episode, and we want to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter or email. If you’re on Facebook, just post on our Timeline. If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #K12stressclub or Tweet us @K12Foodies. Or simply email us. Don’t forget to tell us what your biggest takeaway from the episode is!

Click here to purchase your own copy of “The Stress Club.”

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

Coming Soon: 101 Ways to Increase Participation

We all want to increase participation in the lunchroom, right? Well, we want to help!

You may have seen some of our resources in the past, including white papers and the Meals Plus Customer Cookbooks. In the past two years, we have collected our customers’ most popular lunchroom recipes and compiled them into a complete child nutrition cookbook. Similarly, we want to collect all the ways you increase participation in your lunchrooms to create an encyclopedia of ways to promote your program!

Share anything you’re doing in your cafeterias, no matter how big or small, and we’ll include them in our latest white paper, “101 Ways to Increase Participation.” Do you use a lunchroom mascot, like Graham, that the students enjoy seeing in the lunchline? Do you write motivational messages on your banana peels? Maybe you have fun with naming your dishes, and you renamed your side of cucumbers to the “Cool as a Cucumber Coins” and students responded to the catchy name.

Let’s show the entire child nutrition industry how successful Meals Plus customers are, and shine a spotlight on your department’s successful promotions. And you’ll get to learn new tips from other Meals Plus customers!

We’ll be accepting your submissions until June 9, 2017, and the white paper will be available to download this summer-just in time for the 2017-2018 school year. If you’d like to include photos of your promotions, we will also include those in the white paper. Email your submissions to the Meals Plus Child Nutrition Operations Consultant, Cynthia Sevier, SNS.

Thank you for being a part of the Meals Plus Family!

 

Grand Slam-wich Recipe That Will Hit the Spot!

This Pork Marinara Sandwich is one of the lunch recipes from the 2016 Meals Plus Child Nutrition Cookbook, which you can download here. The cookbook includes recipes from Meals Plus Customers and school breakfast recipes using USDA foods. Its hard to beat a recipe this good!

Pork Marinara Sandwich
Submitted by: Asheboro City Schools

Yields: 1
Serving Size: 1 Sandwich
Food Group Components: 2.5 oz. eq. grain, 2 oz. eq. meat/meat alternative
Recipe Type: Entree
Allergens: Milk, Egg, Soy, Wheat

Ingredients:

1 each – country fried pork steak, frozen, 3.1 oz.
2 oz. – #10 can, Furmanos 10335 ,marinara sauce
1 oz. – lite shredded mozzarella cheese, frozen
1 – bun WW, hamburger bun

Directions:

  1. Place frozen pork chop on a lined full size sheet pan, do not stack.
  2. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until pork reaches 165°F for at least 15 seconds. CCP: Heat to 165° F or higher for at least 15 seconds
  3. Wipe top of can lid with a clean towel and open. Pour into a 1/2-4″deep hotel pan and heat up in the oven for 10 minutes or until hot.
  4. During service, place 1 pork chop on bottom of bun and top with 2 oz. of marinara and 1oz of cheese. Place crown of bun on top.CCP: Hold at 135° F or higher.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories – 481
Chol (mg) – 105.91
Sodium (mg) – 1046.96
Fiber (gm) – 3.94
Iron (mg) – 4.35
Calc (mg) – 280.41
Vit A (IU) – 337.28
Vit C (mg) – 1.12
Protein (gm) – 26.57
Carb (gm) – 47.85
Tot Fat (gm) – 19.85
Sat Fat (gm) – 6.49
Sugars (gm) – 8.26
Trans Fat (gm) – 0.00*

K12_Cafeteria_Menus

 

K12Foodies Episode 24: The Director’s Role in Creating a Wellness Policy with Kristen O’Connor, RDN, LD

Do you have to revise your district’s local school wellness policy – and you’re dreading it?

 

Kristen O’Connor, RDN, LD of Action for Healthy Kids is going to share the role Child Nutrition Directors have in creating a wellness policy, tips to make sure your initiatives are addressed, and some amazing free resources that will help make the entire process easier.

You won’t want to miss the full episode, but here are links to two of the resources Kristen gave us: the USDA School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit and Action for Healthy Kid’s Wellness Policy Tool, which allows you to jump straight to the stage your district is at in the wellness policy revision process.

Follow Action for Healthy Kids online for more free resources:
• Website: www.actionforhealthykids.org
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/act4healthykids/
• Twitter: twitter.com/Act4HlthyKids
• Instagram: www.instagram.com/act4healthykids/

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com