CCSD Honoring the School Lunch Heroes Serving Healthy Meals

CCSD Honoring the School Lunch Heroes Serving Healthy Meals

School Lunch Hero Day logo

Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, Cherokee County School District nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate.

To celebrate their hard work and commitment, CCSD will celebrate the fifth annual School Lunch Hero Day on May 5, 2017.  This day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by the School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series.  School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to 30 million of America’s students each school day.

All across CCSD, school nutrition professionals will be honored with thanks, cards, and recognition from students, school staff, parents, and the community.  On May 5, 2017, CCSD and community leaders will participate by being “Mystery Servers” in school lunchrooms.

“School nutrition employees must balance many roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools. School Lunch Hero Day provides the opportunity for the community to thank these hardworking heroes,” said Tina Farmer, CCSD’s School Nutrition Director, noting that, for many children, school lunch is the most important and nutrient-rich meal of their day.

A cafeteria assistant at Clark Creek ES STEM Academy wrote a poem as a tribute for the day:

School Nutrition Super Hero Day,
will be so much fun the first Friday in May.
It’s a day to recognize the hard work they complete,
so all of us have something to eat.
Show the Nutrition Staff how much we care,
give them a card or some cookies to share.
“Thank You” can never be said too much,
as you pick up your healthy lunch.
No matter what you decide to do,
the Nutrition Staff will be grateful it’s true.
They care for us in many a way,
so, let’s remember the first Friday in May.

For more information about CCSD’s School Nutrition program, see the website at www.cherokee.k12.net/school nutrition.


CCSD School Nutrition Wins National Honor!

The Cherokee County School District School Nutrition program has won a National honor!

The program has been recognized with the Silver Turnip the Beet Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – one of only 49 winners in the country.

The award recognizes CCSD’s summer meal program, which provides breakfast and lunches at no charge to students in need served by summer school programs, as well as at select locations throughout the community.

The District participates in the USDA Seamless Summer Option, which offers the free meals during the summer for children 18 years of age or younger; off-campus sites served by CCSD through the program include: G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA in Canton, Cherokee Outdoor Family YMCA in Woodstock and East Gate Mobile Home Park and Hidden Falls Mobile Home Park in southwest Cherokee.

Almost one-third of CCSD students qualify for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, and this program ensures that children continue to have access to nutritious meals throughout the summer break. The program is funded by USDA; no CCSD funds are expended for this program.

The goal of the Turnip the Beet Award, according to the USDA, is to recognize programs that go “above and beyond to ensure their meals are both nutritious and appetizing.” Applications were evaluated on criteria including: serving local foods; serving a variety of vegetables and fruits throughout the week; serving whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products; and serving culturally-appropriate meals.


CCSD to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week with Special Events

Category : CCSD

Students at Arnold Mill Elementary School enjoy their CCSD School Nutrition meal in the cafeteria.

To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available with school breakfast, the Cherokee County School District will celebrate National School Breakfast Week with special events March 6-10!

The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) campaign theme, “Take the School Breakfast Challenge,” reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy, energizing start to the day for students. Students will be encouraged to participate with special menus, decorations and cafeteria events.

Events planned for CCSD’s celebration include a special fruit-and-granola offering on Tuesday, March 7, as well as “Breakfast for Lunch” on Wednesday, March 8, including French toast, sausage, fruit crisp and potatoes.

Middle schools participated in a breakfast competition during the month of February, and the school with the largest increase in participation will win a visit from Freddie the Falcon on Friday, March 10!

“A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education they can,” said Tina Farmer, CCSD School Nutrition Director. “National School Breakfast Week helps us educate parents and students about all the healthy and appealing choices we offer.”

The School District serves more than 6,000 breakfast meals daily through the federally funded School Breakfast Program. School nutrition professionals prepare breakfast and lunches every day that meet federal nutrition standards – limiting fat, calories and sodium – and encourage students to choose from the fruits, vegetables and whole grains offered with school meals.

Breakfast is offered daily in all CCSD schools and includes the following healthy options: whole-grain pancakes and waffles, chicken and sausage biscuits, whole-grain breakfast pastries and cereals along with a choice of fruit or juice and low-fat or skim milk.

National School Breakfast Week was launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children and to promote the links between eating a good breakfast, academic achievement and healthy lifestyles. The “Take the School Breakfast Challenge” is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association, Kellogg’s and Potatoes USA. Parents and students can follow the fun on Facebook.com/TrayTalk.

For more information about CCSD schools meals, visit http://cherokeek12.net/ or www.schoolnutrition.org/SchoolMeals.


CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award!

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From left to right Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls

The Cherokee County School District has won a top State award for its outstanding school nutrition program!

CCSD’s School Nutrition program, which serves more than 5 million meals each year in school cafeterias, has won the Golden Radish Award at the Gold Level from the Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture, Public Health, Education and Georgia Organics.

The Gold Level is the highest recognition awarded to Georgia school nutrition programs for farm-to-school programs… from local food procurement to hosting taste-tests to gardening with students.  Districts were evaluated on their work in 10 different activity areas.

CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich accepted the award at a ceremony Monday at the Georgia State Capitol.

CCSD was recognized for its accomplishments during the 2015-2016 school year including:

  • More than 400 hands-on cooking and food activities held by CCSD, with many lessons led by volunteer chefs and farmers. Events included Chef Tony Pisconeri visiting classrooms to demonstrate proper knife skills and plating techniques and high school agriculture students learning about honey with Jeannie Ross of Ross Berry Farm and Apiaries;
  • More than 1,000 promotions held by CCSD to encourage students to choose local foods in the school cafeteria and participate in school garden activities and farm field trips; and,
  • Cherokee County’s Farm to School Committee collaboration by parents, teachers, school administrative staff, the Cherokee County Farm Bureau and local farmers, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, FFA, churches, the Upper Etowah River Alliance, Girls Scouts and other groups. Local businesses also offered discounts for individuals purchasing supplies for CCSD’s school gardens;

“Having access to fresh, farm-to-school meals is great for Georgia’s students,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Farm-to-school programs also connect students with agriculture, which is an enormously important industry for our state.  We appreciate the Golden Radish Award because it recognizes those school districts that are striving every day to provide more farm to school meals.”


CCSD Expands After-School Healthy Snack Program

The Cherokee County School District is expanding its efforts to ensure hunger doesn’t stop student learning.

The School District is growing its after-school healthy snack program, which provides free snacks at schools in attendance areas with qualifying levels of students who receive free or reduced-price meals.  Nearly one-third of CCSD’s students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Through the federally funded program, snacks that meet healthy eating standards are available to students participating in regularly scheduled after-school educational or enrichment activities, such as CCSD’s After School Program, tutoring and extra-curricular clubs.

In addition to the five CCSD schools already participating, the program will begin Sept. 12 at Ball Ground Elementary School STEM Academy, Clayton Elementary School, Holly Springs Elementary School STEM Academy and Knox Elementary School.  It will be expanded later this fall to Cherokee High School, Etowah High School and E.T. Booth Middle School.

“The research is clear: hunger negatively impacts students… it hinders their learning, increases behavioral issues and affects their physical, mental and emotional health,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “While in an ideal world, every child would receive adequate nutrition without our support, the reality is that some students struggle to get enough to eat.  We want to do our part to ensure that every child is ready to learn and that includes not being distracted by hunger.”