Johnston County Schools child nutrition managers graduated from the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute, becoming chef ambassadors who are able teach others.
Graduates from the Culinary Institute from JCS are Child Nutrition managers Rodica Ban Child Nutrition from Cleveland Elementary, Laura Chavis from Four Oaks Elementary, Wendy Richters from Powhatan Elementary, and Training Managers for Child Nutrition Evelyn Johnson and Lori Wooten.
“We care about the health and well-being of our students,” said Dana Edwards, Director of Child Nutrition for Johnston County Schools. “The K-12 Culinary Institute is one step that we are taking to equip our school nutrition professionals for their important roles in the schools.”
There were several other participants from surrounding counties also at the regional K-12 Culinary Institute workshop, held at Cleveland from Aug. 9-11.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) School Nutrition Section, and Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary team developed the institute to meet five core objectives which are:
- Improving student health, well-being, and academic success through nutritious and appealing meals at school.
- Increasing participating in high quality, enticing school nutrition programs.
- Expanding the capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare, and serve fresh and locally grown produce.
- Increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain-rich foods.
- Providing continuing educational opportunities for school nutrition personnel.
Instructional segments at the institute included knife skills, weighing and measuring ingredients correctly, 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.
“It was amazing to see the smiles on their faces each day as they enjoyed preparing these delicious meals,” said Edwards. “These are items that we can bring back to our cafeterias and brighten up the lunch lines for the students and bring variety to their school lunch.”
The regional workshop, which is designed to enhance nutrition offerings, is funded by a USDA Professional Standards Training Grant received by the NCDPI School Nutrition Section.