Nutrition Services recognized for community outreach, focus on healthy eating

Nutrition Services received top honors for its school-based initiatives and ongoing community outreach in Food Management magazine’s 2020 Best Concept awards competition.

The department was named Editor’s Choice Best Concept Awards Best of Show for their efforts to feed families during the COVID-19 pandemic, expand salad bars to all campuses, and launch a food literacy program to help students understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

The magazine also highlighted the department’s Good Food campaign, which calls for all students to have access to nutritious food that is flavorful, colorful, wholesome, and locally sourced, and recognized the team for successfully converting from third-party management to self-operating status.

“I am so proud of the Nutrition Services team and their efforts to provide good food for our students and their families,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “This recognition is a testament to their commitment to finding innovative ways to feed our families.”

Sponsored by Food Management, the 22-year-old award program is designed to recognize best practices and innovative thinking in onsite food service across the country. Editors judge nominations on various factors, including creativity, impact, and effectiveness.

Nutrition Services was selected for the magazine’s top honor, which is awarded to an organization that demonstrates overall achievement over an exented period of time. In additional to school systems, colleges, healthcare facilities, business locations, and sports and entertainment venues also are eligible for the awards.

All winners will be featured in the magazine’s September issue.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Nutrition Services has provided millions of pounds of food to students and families through various federal student meal programs, as well as a key partnership with the Houston Food Bank.

Before the pandemic, the department worked extensively to instill in students the importance of healthy eating. Both the Food Literacy and Inclusion and Salad Bar programs were part of a larger commitment to providing “good food” to students.

“We are truly honored to receive this recognition from Food Management magazine,” Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins said. “Our staff works tirelessly to provide good food to HISD students and their families. Their passion and dedication continue to take this program to new heights and serve our stakeholders in impactful ways.”