Moultrie Observer

Education

December 23, 2012

Ga. Dept. of Education honors local school food service

MOULTRIE — The Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Division recently conducted a federally required review of the Colquitt County School Nutrition Program.

Three schools were selected to participate in this process: Colquitt County High School, Cox Elementary School, and R. B. Wright Elementary School. All aspects of daily operations were monitored, financial procedures reviewed, and meal quality evaluated. Following completion of the three-day review, findings were positive, according to a press release from the school system.  

 Beth Flesher, Georgia Department of Education Area Consultant commented, “The Colquitt County School Nutrition Program has done a wonderful job in implementing federal  guidelines for the new meal pattern.  It was evident from the review; Colquitt County students are offered a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Colquitt County School Nutrition  Director Monika Griner has been asked to be a spokesperson for Coastal Plains RESA, sharing the success in implementing the meal pattern in Colquitt County and partnering  with local coaches to ensure athletes receive a healthy snack in the afternoon.”

 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently adjusted strict guidelines established this year regarding nutrition standards in the National School Lunch Program. After careful review and consideration of concerns expressed by local and state leaders, adjustments were made that allow for more protein and grain-based products served to students.  However, calorie limits per age range were not adjusted, and any additional items must be considered when calculating the total number of calories offered to students. Calorie allowance per grade levels for lunch include:  K-5th (550-650 calories), grades 6-8 (600-700 calories), grades 9-12 (750-850 calories).   Failure to cooperate with meal pattern requirements can result in the loss of federal reimbursement funds.  Once state officials verify meal pattern adjustments, Colquitt County will earn an additional $.06 cent per plate in reimbursements.   New meal pattern requirements for breakfast will begin the SY13-14 school year.

 “In Colquitt County, we pride ourselves in offering the highest quality food products and services possible,” Griner said. “This year has presented changes and we worked to face each change in a positive and productive manner. It is our desire to continue with program operations that best meet the needs of our student population.”

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