WHITEVILLE — Five Bladen County Schools nutrition managers — Stephanie Bryan, Kimberly Jones, Shirley McKoy, Cheryl McLaughlin, Freda Hales and Addie Newkirk — participated in a K-12 Culinary Institute regional workshop July 19- 21 at Central Middle School in Whiteville.
The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute, designed to enhance nutrition offerings, is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Professional Standards Training Grant received by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Section.
“The K-12 Culinary Institute is a unique opportunity for our school nutrition professionals to enhance culinary skills and glean tools and information critical to their important roles in providing quality, nutritious school meals,” said Amy Stanley, director for Bladen County School Nutrition Program.
The face-to-face and virtual institute was developed by the NCDPI, School Nutrition Section, and Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary Team in order to meet five core objectives:
— Improve student health, well-being and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school,
— Increase participation in high quality, enticing school nutrition programs,
— Expand capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce,
— Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain-rich foods, and
— Provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.
The menus and recipes developed for the K-12 Culinary Institute include:
— Scratch, convenience, and modified scratch products and techniques.
— Instructions written for production amounts consistent with pack or pan sizes commonly available in school kitchens.
— Nutritional analysis files for easy import into software programs and adjustments for standardization in Local Education Agencies.
Planned instructional segments include topics such as knife skills, weighing and measuring accurately, preparing foods for just-in-time service, work simplification and scheduling, effective use of equipment, and quality food preparation and service for a variety of meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, and condiments.
North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute graduates become chef ambassadors prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at the local education agency/school level.
Bladen County Schools participates in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program for elementary schools, and the After School Snack Program. Last year Bladen County Schools served 482,399 breakfasts and 694,134 lunches.