- Author: Chelsey LeeAnn Slattery
During the 2018-2019 School Year, the Yuba City Unified school District (YCUSD hereinafter) partnered with the University of California Cooperative Extension's, CalFresh Healthy Living Program (CFHL hereinafter) to implement The Smarter Lunchroom Movement of California in all YCUSD school cafeterias (n=17).
At the beginning of the implementation, a Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard was completed at all YCUSD cafeterias to collect baseline data. Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecards assess strategies that are being implemented in school cafeterias, many of which aim to increase participation, reduce food waste, and increase selection and consumption of heathy school food. YCUSD Cafeterias scores ranged from 18 – 41 out of 60 possible points. Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard totals are separated into three categories, Bronze (15-25 points), Silver (26-45 points), and Gold (46-60 points). The average score for YCUSD cafeterias was 28.29, which falls into the Silver Category. After completing the scorecards, cafeterias established goals to work towards during the current school year. Some of these goals included: increasing reimbursable meals during breakfast and lunch, obtaining signage for the cafeteria and descriptive wording for products, increasing student involvement, decreasing food waste, conducting taste tests with students, and providing education to help students understand the minimum amount of food that they need to take.
The YCUSD Food Service Director, Chelsey Slattery and the Sutter-Yuba CFHL program are working together to create a plan that provides training and technical assistance to school cafeteria managers and to provide cafeteria managers with resources to help meet their goals. Some of the resources that have already been provide include: dry erase posters, creative name labels for salad bars, signage for share tables, and lunchroom trivia. Lunchroom Trivia was developed to help increase student engagement during meals service times, while also educating the students about how to properly use the Share Table.
Progress towards Meeting Smarter Lunchroom Movements Goals
YCUSD and CFHL worked together to establish Share Table Agreements.
CFHL created signage for YCUSD Share Tables to help students understand how to properly use the Share Table.
YCUSD cafeterias began using signage for Share Tables in November 2019.
On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Area Food Service Supervisor, Annette DeCarlo conducted a taste test with students at Lincoln Elementary School to introduce new menu items.
At the end of the 2018-2019 School Year a Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecards will be completed for second time at all YCUSD cafeterias to track the progress of meeting the goals that were set forth at the beginning of implementation.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller