Tag Archives: cafeteria

Celebrity chef Carla Hall visits Mandarin Immersion School to celebrate cafeteria staff

HISD’s Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS) was chosen as one of only four schools in the nation to be showcased in vendor Jennie-O’s School Cafeteria Takeover, an event that celebrates and honors school cafeteria staff.

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K. Smith Elementary celebrates opening of new cafeteria

After months of eating meals in temporary buildings, students and staff at K. Smith Elementary School celebrated the opening of a brand new cafeteria and kitchen this past week, and the new facility is getting thumbs-up from both.

Smith Elementary School opened its new cafeteria and kitchen to give students healthier meals.

Smith Elementary School opened its new cafeteria and kitchen to give students healthier meals.

“We were in temporary buildings for the longest time,” said Nutrition Services attendant Maria Mireles, who has been with Smith for 10 years. “There’s nothing better than to have our own kitchen to prepare meals for the kids.”

Smith Elementary School Principal Gloria Salazar is happy her students are dining in a permanent facility and are able to relax and enjoy a hot, healthy meal.

“We are now having fresher choices in food,” Salazar said. “The combination of meals and new cafeteria is a morale booster for our students.”

“The food is great and my friends and I get more space at lunch time,” said student Andrea Medina.

More fruits and vegetables on the menu at HISD schools

HISD students returning to school this year will be welcomed back with a greater variety of healthy food selections on their cafeteria’s menu. As part of the USDA’s revised nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, the Houston Independent School District has further updated the school menu to incorporate the new meal requirements and offer students additional healthful menu items without impacting the cost of lunch for students.  

“We are committed to serving our students healthy, nutritious meals,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said.  “We have always set high nutrition standards for school meals. We support the USDA’s updated meal requirements and will continue to promote healthy eating habits among our students.”

This year’s school menus feature low- and non-fat dairy options, lean protein choices, a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, assorted whole grain products and 100 percent fruit juice with no sugar added.

Some of the specific menu changes for this school year include:

  • Availability of more whole grains
  • Increase in fruits and vegetables being offered
  • Offering flavored milk in fat-free or skim varieties while unflavored or white milk will be offered as skim or 1%
  • Decreasing the number of desserts offered to allow for an increase in higher nutrient foods

In addition to adding healthier menu items, HISD Food Services is serving locally grown foods, offering new made-to-order fresh food concepts, piloting healthy fruit and veggie stations, supporting school gardens, and increasing nutrition awareness in our schools and communities.

HISD Awards Top Food Services Staff and Recognizes Cafeterias of the Year

The Houston Independent School District presented numerous awards to recognize the hard work and excellence of the district’s Food Services Department and school cafeterias.

“Providing nutritious meals to more than 200,000 students throughout the school year and summer school takes hard work, and it’s important our employees know just how valuable they are to the district,” Superintendent Terry Grier said.  “We applaud their commitment to ensuring every student has access to a good, healthy meal at school.”          

Awards were given for the following categories: Spirit of Service Award, Honorary Spirit of Service, and Team Lead of the Year.

“We are truly proud of these employees.  The positive attitude and dedication they bring to work every day is truly exceptional,” said Brian Giles, Senior Administrator for Food Services.  “These annual awards serve as a means to let them know we recognize and thank them for their hard work and efforts.”

HISD also recognized the 2011-2012 Cafeterias of the Year based on their ability meet and exceed goals set by the department and provide excellent dining atmospheres, among other guidelines.

 HISD’s Food Services Department has almost 2,000 employees who service nearly 300 schools.  These employees are tasked with providing healthy, nutritious meals for all students, teachers and staff in the district.

 Below is list of awards presented:

Spirit of Service Award         

Kandy Simmons, Herrera Elementary School
Samantha Pearson, Cook Elementary School
Alicia Villalobos, Lantrip Elementary School
Patricia Strickland, Bonner Elementary School
Antionetta Means, Frost Elementary School
Robin Morris, Hobby Elementary School
Janet Vallair Perry, Lovett Elementary School
Maggie Hughes, T.H. Rogers
Veronica Means, Blackshear Elementary School
Gilda Canales, Oak Forest Elementary School
LaDeshia Ricks, Furr High School
Tammie Green, Chavez High School
Kimberly Wilson, Westbury High School
Chiquia White, Marshall Middle School
Ola Livingston, Energized STEM


Honorary Spirit of Service

Mark Allen, Operations Area Manager
Bridgette Chenier, Operations/SEA Associate

 Cafeteria of the Year

Lee High School
Hamilton Middle School
Herrera Elementary
Durham Elementary

 Team Lead of the Year

Lanquelyn Sumler, Reagan High School
Marylyn Williams, Hartman Middle School
Danielle Wiltz, Bastian Elementary School
Eliva Jimenez, Gregory Lincoln K-8