Category Archives: Food Services

Nutrition Services partners with HISD transition programs to help students with disabilities

Leticia Resendiz spends her weekdays at Seguin Elementary School, carefully preparing and serving wholesome meals to eager students.  

A dedicated employee, she carefully reviews the instructions of every recipe and always remembers to follow health and safety regulations. 

“I’m happy with this job,” Resendiz said. “I love giving the kids their breakfast and lunch. Everyone is so nice to me.” 

Resendiz is one of four food service attendants hired by Nutrition Services in partnership with two transition programs — HISD-HCC Lifeskills and HISD/HEART (Housing, Entrepreneurship, and Readiness Training).  

The programs are designed to help HISD special education students who have met all academic and course requirements for graduation but require transition services to complete their Individualized Education Program.  

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HISD asking parents to complete socioeconomic form for the 2019-2020 school year

The Houston Independent School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to students for the 2019-2020 school year, but parents will need to fill out a new form to ensure Title I funding for HISD schools. 

All HISD schools are qualified to operate under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision, which allows HISD to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at no charge to all students, eliminating the need for free and reduced-price meal applications. 

While parents will not need to complete and return a free and reduced-price meal application, they will need to complete a socioeconomic form (see below), known as the blue form. 

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HISD Business Operations launches new brand focused on students

With more than 7,000 employees, Business Operations is the largest division in HISD. But what exactly do we do?

Before students can ever file into their classrooms, bus drivers and crossing guards must get them safely to school. Cafeteria workers must make them a nutritious breakfast. Custodians, police officers, and construction crews must make sure they have new, clean, safe spaces in which to learn.

The breadth of our work touches all facets of the district, and support is at the heart of everything we do. We help lay the foundation for student success — most of the time behind the scenes.

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7th Annual School Lunch Hero Day to be celebrated on May 3

Students and school faculty will soon have the opportunity to show their appreciation to cafeteria staff during School Lunch Hero Day.

On May 3, Nutrition Services will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day, a nationwide celebration that honors school nutrition professionals for the valuable work they do each day. The observance will allow students and school staff to celebrate their campus’ cafeteria team.

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Family-style lunch a success at Garden Oaks Montessori

When it’s time for lunch, Garden Oaks teacher Terah Kuhnen’s pre-kindergarten students take out their blue and white placemats and begin setting the table around the floral centerpieces.

She walks about the classroom, filling their trays with the lunch for the day. Once the children are seated, she begins to eat her own meal — usually the same food her class is enjoying.

This is family-style lunch, a program that was launched at the start of this school year in Garden Oaks Montessori’s Children’s House classrooms, where 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds work and learn together.

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Nutrition Services recognized by Texas Department of Ag

Besides being delicious and nutritious, what do tortillas, skim milk, and watermelon all have in common?

The items were part of Nutrition Services’ winning menu for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s 2018 Farm Fresh Challenge, which encourages schools to incorporate local foods into their menus and garden-based learning activities into their curriculum.

“The students learn about growing plants locally and the benefits of choosing local foods,” Nutrition Services Senior Manager Amanda Oceguera said. “The aim of this program is to establish behaviors that create healthy students for their entire lives.”

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Nutrition Services dietitian recognized as a top dietitian in the state

 Julia Jarrell
 Julia Jarrell 

HISD Nutrition Services Food Literacy Manager Julia Jarrell has been selected as one of the 2019 Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Recognized Young Dietitians of the Year.

Jarrell was nominated and selected for her progressive work in teaching HISD students how to lead healthy and productive lives through good nutrition.

“I love the opportunity to promote health within the Houston community” Jarrell said. “To be recognized and honored for doing things I am deeply proud of makes me feel elated and privileged to be part of such a wonderful profession.”

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Milby HS Culinary Arts student headed toward bright future

 (Houston Independent School District)

Milby High School Culinary Arts Program student Roberto Blas knows how something as simple as a conversation can change your life.

During the summer of 2018, Blas had a conversation about his future plans with Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins in Washington, D.C. at the national Cooking Up Change competition for high school students.

It was during that conversation, just after his team earned second place in the cooking competition, he learned about Johnson and Wales University — a private career-oriented college in Providence, RI. Continue reading

Schwan’s Chef Collective visits Milby HS for cook-off

Milby High School recently was transformed into the site of an exciting cooking competition — complete with four celebrity chefs — as part of the Schwan’s Chef Collective K-12 Kitchen Collaborative Mystery Ingredient Cook-Off.

The cooking contest — which featured chefs from the Food Network and Top Chef — was the culmination of a week-long event that included student Q&A sessions and a visit to the student gardens at Atherton Elementary School and Gregory-Lincoln Education Center. Continue reading

HISD celebrates Thanksgiving with special lunch at schools

Thanksgiving is approaching quickly, and parents of Walnut Bend Elementary School students visited the school on Thursday to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving lunch with their children.

The special celebration, occurring during normal lunch hours, is an HISD tradition that has attracted thousands of families to school cafeterias for more than 50 years. The event gives parents a chance to celebrate the holiday a week early by sharing a meal with their children.

The students and their families filled their plates with roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and sweet potato cake. Families sat down to enjoy their meals at reserved tables with fall-themed tablecloths and centerpieces. Continue reading