Better school lunches | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | August 10, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: August 9, 2017 at 9:57 am
CCSD student nutrition staff participates in culinary training.
By CINDY CROSBY
The Colleton County School District Office of Student Nutrition participated in culinary training last week at Colleton County High School. Over 20 staff members, including representatives from all eight schools in the district, participated in the week-long event led by Chefs Lindsey McInville and Michael Hockett of the International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach.
The International Culinary Institute, part of Horry-Georgetown Technical College, opened in the spring of 2016 and is dedicated to “helping the South eat fresher and healthier.”
During the training, staff members sharpened their skills in both food preparation and knife usage, along with learning about flavor profiles and recipe development.
“I wanted to give our staff an opportunity to learn these skills to bring back to each of our kitchens to better prepare enjoyable meals for our students and staff,” said Ellen Fitch, who is set to begin her first full year as the director of student nutrition after serving as interim last school term. “This is the first year we have hosted something of this magnitude.
“The training was a great experience for our student nutrition staff,” said Fitch. “It allowed them the opportunity to be excited about preparing and serving dishes to others they can be proud of. Although we are still limited due to regulations in what we can serve our students and staff, this training gave us a new outlook on how to create appealing dishes, while still meeting those regulations.
“I am extremely proud of the participating staff, and I am grateful for their enthusiasm to serve our students meals that will prepare every child today for tomorrow,” said Fitch.
Keeping in mind state-mandated regulations, Fitch is planning on a few changes for the upcoming school year. “I am planning some changes to the menu,” she said. “I am trying to improve as much as possible within the mandated guidelines.”
Last week’s training was funded in part by grants written by Eileen Staples, a retired student nutrition director, who then offered the opportunity to the CCSD. “A week of this training costs approximately $20,000,” said Fitch. “We get to keep all of the supplies such as the chef’s knives, cutting boards and other items. We are also donating all the produce that was left to the local food bank.”
Also on hand for last week’s training were representatives from Hampton and Allendale’s school districts.