UTICA — Students in the North Fork Local School District will see a bit of a change in their lunch routine when they return to classes for a new school year Aug. 25.
The former practice of food preparation in the school cafeterias within the district will give way to frozen boxed lunches being heated in program provider ovens, according to JoAnn Walton, food service director at North Fork Local Schools.
“This will be a way to make us more financially responsible,” said Walton, who said this program with Preferred Meals in Michigan will save the district over $100,000 per year.
Lunches and breakfasts will come pre-packaged in individual boxes, ready to be heated in ovens provided by Preferred Meals. Cafeteria workers will know how many students to expect each day so they can prepare the appropriate number of lunches. There will be a set schedule of lunch menus throughout each week. One lunch menu example, according to Walton, will be Swiss steak, peas and carrots, orange, cookie and a drink.
In the case of more students showing up for lunch than what signed up earlier that day, there will be an emergency supply of extra meals delivered twice each week. Preferred Meals will be using North Fork commodities, made possible through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. High school and junior high students will also have a la carte items available. These items will also be provided by Preferred Meals, Walton said.