Category Archives: Nutrition Services

Employee bidding farewell after 45 years with Nutrition Services

Nutrition Services’ longest serving employee, go-to historian, and source of knowledge for all things food services is retiring in a few short weeks, after 45 years of service.

Charlotte Blocker serves as the executive administrative assistant to Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins and is known for her positive attitude, witty humor, and friendly demeanor.

“It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long,” Blocker said. Continue reading

Chavez HS cafeteria hero uses good food and the Golden Rule to make a difference

Marylyn Williams wants students who visit the cafeteria at Chavez High School to experience more than just food. She wants them to feel welcomed and at home.

As the campus cafe manager, Williams believes she is responsible not only for serving appetizing meals but also for creating an environment that influences students for the better. Each day, she said, she makes it a point to greet every student with a smile, show them respect, and offer a listening ear.

“Treat others as you would like them to treat you,” Williams said. “If you say good morning and thank you to the students, they will eventually say those same things back to you.” Continue reading

Milby’s Broadway Buffs advance to national culinary competition

Six teams of student chefs clad in double-breasted white jackets and black-and-white houndstooth pants converged on the Art Institute of Houston last weekend, all aiming to slice and dice their way to a national title.

The six teams, which were made up of HISD culinary students from Westside, Northside, and Milby high schools, were participating in the annual Cooking Up Change competition. The contest challenges students to create healthy meals that meet the real-life nutritional and cost requirements of the national school meal programs. Continue reading

High schools focus on good food at Spring Cookouts

Standing in a line that snaked across the school courtyard, hundreds of Chavez High School students shuffled under bright blue tailgate tents, eager to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken sandwiches.

“We got some really good food, and I wish I could grab seconds,” said Chavez senior Corinthia West regarding the recent Spring Cookout at her school. “I think the whole school came out, and we all enjoyed each other. This is fun!” Continue reading

Nutrition education dietitian growing more than just food with school garden program 

When HISD Nutrition Education Dietitian Julia Jarrell gets a reluctant student to try — and enjoy — bok choy for the first time, she knows she’s doing exactly what she is meant to be doing.

Studies have proven the link between healthy eating and improved academic performance, she said. Good nutrition can boost grades, lower dropout rates, and even reduce disciplinary problems.   Continue reading

20 schools across HISD celebrate National School Breakfast Week 

After the morning bell rang at Alcott Elementary School, students put away their backpacks and pulled their workbooks to the tops of the desks. But a knock on the door signaled it was time for something even more important— breakfast. Continue reading

Personal stories exemplify how HISD is rebuilding, reimagining education

‘We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson’

If anyone could find a silver lining amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s Robinson Elementary School Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos. After being flooded with more than a foot of water, Robinson was relocated and students split between two adjacent campuses. Though not ideal, the situation made Fernandez-Hohos determined to give students a sense of normalcy. Vacant rooms and hallways sprung to life with decorations. Auditorium and gym spaces were transformed into cozy classrooms to accommodate more students. Fernandez-Hohos trekked back and forth between the two campuses. If she started the day welcoming students at one school, she ended it saying goodbye to students at the other. It was important, she said, that every class see her every day. Robinson students returned to their home campus in January, but Fernandez-Hohos said the storm taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of her school: “When everything else is stripped away, all you’re left with is the bond between teachers and students. We could be anywhere, and we would still be Robinson.”

Continue reading

Culinary students from three HISD high schools prepare to compete in Cooking Up Change 

A group of Houston Independent School District students will be slicing and dicing their way to a winning recipe as they get ready to compete in Cooking Up Change at the Art Institute of Houston in April.

Cooking up Change is a culinary competition that challenges high school students to create healthy meals that meet the real-life nutritional and cost requirements of the national school meal program.

Seven teams from Northside, Milby, and Westside high schools will spend the next two months getting ready to go head to head on April 21, attempting to wow the judges and claim the winning dish. The winning HISD team will advance to the Cooking Up Change national finals in Washington, D.C. in June.   Continue reading

Meyerland PVA students lend artistic talents to Nutrition Services project 

Art students from Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School teamed up recently with Nutrition Services to create the artwork for seed packets the department will distribute to the public.

The collaboration was the brainchild of Nan Cramer, Nutrition Services community outreach dietitian. Cramer, who was familiar with the school’s art program, thought the custom illustrations would add a unique touch to the seed packets.  Continue reading

Henderson ES site of first elementary school salad bar  

When students at J.P. Henderson Elementary returned from the holiday break, they were met with a healthy new option in the cafeteria: a salad bar filled with crisp lettuce, fresh cheese, and cool cucumbers.

Henderson Elementary is the first elementary school in the district to have a salad bar included in its meal options. Nutrition Services plans on adding salad bars to another 22 elementary schools before spring break.  Continue reading