Nutrition Services Officer Betti J. Wiggins served as a keynote speaker during the Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds conference at Harvard University last week.
The conference was organized by a partnership between Let’s Talk About Food, the Massachusetts Health Council, and Harvard University Dining Services.
Wiggins was invited to speak about her experience as the executive director of school nutrition at Detroit Public Schools, where she adopted and implemented key principles that allowed students to receive the healthiest food available. Her work included creating community gardens and implementing the first CEP (Community Eligibility Provision) program that allowed 100 percent of students in the district to eat lunch at no cost. Continue reading →
Houston Independent School District will be kicking off its Summer Meal Program May 31 at more than 250 area schools. Children ages 1 to 18 can enjoy a free healthy breakfast and lunch from May 31, 2017 through Aug. 4, 2017.
Children do not need to be enrolled in summer school to participate in the program, and no paperwork, registration, or proof of income is required. Adults can also participate by purchasing breakfast for $2.25 and lunch for $3.50. Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District has selected Betti J. Wiggins as the district’s new officer of Nutrition Services.
Wiggins currently serves as the executive director of the office of school nutrition with the Detroit Public Schools Community District, where she is responsible for school-based meal operations in 141 schools for all USDA child nutrition programs. Under her leadership, she helped establish the Detroit School Garden Collaborative, which currently supports more than 80 school-based gardens and a two-acre school farm.
“We are excited to welcome Ms. Wiggins to Houston ISD to lead our school nutrition program,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “She has tremendous experience in school nutrition and will help us improve our program for both students and staff as we invest in new equipment, training and menus.” Continue reading →
Houston Independent School District Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby pledged more outreach and assistance to small business owners seeking to do business with the district in his first public appearance since being named to lead the district’s business operations division and its 7,000 employees.
“This is not a job for me, but a lifeblood,” Busby told the Greater Houston Black Chamber on Thursday. “I didn’t take this job to get to the next job. I took this job to make a difference in the lives of our students.”
With Halloween as the official start of the holiday candy season, HISD Nutrition Services Dietitians Julia Jarrell, Alberto Garcia, and Nan Cramer are teaching healthy Halloween classes to elementary school students to help them become responsible trick-or-treaters.
The dietitians teach strategies and techniques to students to prevent overeating candy. Children can consume more than 700 grams of sugar on Halloween night if they go unsupervised, and high amounts of sugar can cause stomachaches, headaches, and cavities.
The Houston Independent School District Nutrition Services department observed National School Lunch Week with several taste-testing events in which students could vote for their favorite new lunch item.
The weeklong events began Oct. 4 at several HISD schools and concluded with a final vote at Blackshear Elementary School on Oct. 7.
On the first day of school, thousands of HISD students were greeted with hot breakfasts and lunches.
Carnegie Vanguard High School Food Service Attendant Wanda Watson said she could not wait to see students back on campus. Watson and her team got the kitchen ready a week prior to their return. They set high goals for the CVHS cafeteria this year.
HISD Research and Development Chef Tom Valdivieso has a new appreciation for what he and his fellow chefs do at the district. As a first-time father of a newborn son who will one day attend an HISD school, Valdivieso understands the importance of his role.
“We always cook with students in mind so that we can make sure they get the necessary nutrients to succeed in school,” he said. “We are trusted with their well-being.”
Valdivieso evaluates the HISD school menu as part of his job to design school meals that are delicious and healthy.
“The goal is always to satisfy students,” he said. He accomplishes this by creating recipes, testing them, and tweaking them to perfection.
Application available online and at all HISD campuses for 2016-17 academic year
The Houston Independent School District announced its policy today for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under the attached current income eligibility guidelines. Each school/site or the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.
Starting on Aug. 22, 2016, the Houston Independent School District will begin distributing letters to the households of the children in the district about eligibility benefits and any actions households need to take to apply for these benefits. Applications also are available at the HISD Nutrition Services Support Facility and all HISD schools.
Nutrition Services’ Student Eligibility and Accountability department has added more schools to the Community Eligibility Provision program, increasing the number that provide free school lunches to 186 eligible campuses. HISD serves free breakfast at every school and to all students.
Nutrition Services continues to increase the number of HISD schools participating in CEP.