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School Nutrition Professionals Participate in Innovative NC K-12 Culinary Institute

School nutrition managers from across the state have the opportunity to participate in regional K-12 Culinary Institute workshops this summer. The institute, designed to increase the availability of fresh, appealing, nutritious meals at school, is funded in part by a training grant the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) School Nutrition Services received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Appealing meals that are filling and nutritious help students focus in the classroom,” said NCDPI School Nutrition Services Section Chief Lynn Harvey. “The North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute provides school nutrition managers with tools and information they can take back and implement in their school nutrition programs to ensure students receive the meals they need to do well in the classroom.”

The North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute, developed by NCDPI School Nutrition Services and nationally-accomplished Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary Team, meets 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.
Instructional segments are planned for 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.

The menus and recipes developed for the North Carolina 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; and
nutritional analysis files for easy import into software programs and adjustments for standardization by local school districts.

North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute graduates will be chef ambassadors and culinary specialists. These ambassadors will be prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at the local district/school level.

The workshops run from June 27 – Aug. 10. Local education agencies hosting the regional workshops this summer are: Alamance-Burlington Schools, Asheville City Schools, Avery County Schools, Bertie County Schools, Cabarrus County Schools, Chatham County Schools, Franklin County Schools, Haywood County Schools, Hoke County Schools, Johnston County Schools, Mooresville Graded School District, New Hanover County Schools, Onslow County Schools, Pitt County Schools, Sampson County Schools, Union County Schools, and Wilkes County Schools.

Questions regarding the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute may be directed to NCDPI School Nutrition Services School Nutrition Specialist Tracey Bates or 919.696.7207.

USDA and NCDPI are equal opportunity providers and employers. Additional information regarding School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina can be found on the School Nutrition Services website.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) available online and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

*  mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

*  fax: (202) 690-7442; or

*  email.

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