Serving Healthy School Meals: Staff Development and Training Needs

  • August 31, 2015

Operating a school meal program requires knowledge and skills from a range of disciplines: the culinary arts, nutrition science, food safety, business administration, finance, purchasing, and marketing. The professionals who lead and work in school food service departments have the challenge of planning and executing economical menus that meet children’s dietary needs and appeal to their varying tastes.

This study, released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, identifies the areas of training school food service staff need to run a successful program. As school food service authorities work to fully implement USDA’s updated meal standards and improve the quality and appeal of their meals, their personnel need increased access to and opportunities for training and technical assistance to meet the new challenges of their jobs. Additional knowledge and skills would help nutrition professionals manage changes in food service production, such as greater use of scratch cooking, and increased student participation in meal programs, which can lead to greater revenue as a result of increased USDA reimbursement. 

Read the study "Serving Healthy School Meals: Staff Development and Training Needs"

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