Tag Archives: food services

North Forest High School Students Celebrate New Cafeteria Offerings and Improvements

HISD Food Services will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday

After giving the cafeteria dining area and kitchen a complete makeover, students at North Forest High School will get to enjoy four new build-your-own dining stations and celebrate their cafeteria’s new look during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, August 30at 10 a.m. at 10725 Mesa Drive.

“The new build-your-own dining stations increase our variety of offerings to students and encourage them to be creative while eating healthy versions of their favorite meals,” HISD Food Services Senior Administrator Brian Giles said.  “Each station offers fresh vegetables, lean and low-fat proteins and whole grain bread options.”

Earlier this summer, North Forest High School students participated in focus groups and provided feedback on the type of school lunch experience they would like to have.  Their feedback helped HISD Food Services develop lunch experiences to meet their campus’ needs.

North Forest High School students can now order their lunch from the following dining brands:

  • Green Street Deli™ – made–to-order subs, wraps and hot panini sandwiches from fresh ingredients
  • Tortilla Fresh-Mex™ – build-your-own chicken or beef burritos, quesadillas and taco salad bowls with an offering of fresh-made salsas, Spanish brown rice and charro beans
  • Custom Bros. Grill™ – build-your-own burgers, grilled chicken and other grilled items topped with a wide selection of fresh vegetables and special sauces
  • Home Zone™ – a healthy twist on classic comfort foods and home-style cuisine.

The revamped cafeteria allows students to enjoy their favorite foods created their own way, while refueling physically and emotionally to meet the challenges of the day,” said North Forest Principal Pamela Farinas.  “I am pleased with the work of HISD Food Services to improve the kitchen conditions, eating environment and food for the students at North Forest High School.”

Eighty-seven new dining brand stations have been implemented in high schools throughout the district since last fall, providing flavor and variety to more than 30,000 students.

Food Services Preparing for First Day of School

HISD Food Services held an in-service training Aug. 19 to discuss new processes and recipes for the upcoming school year, and three days later the facility was booming. Production began in the bakery, where thousands of muffins and rolls were cooked and packaged for delivery during the first week of school. Work also began on preparing and cooking menu items for the return of students.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/53975431 w=320&h=205]

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HISD to Host Networking Event for Food Service Vendors

Food service vendors interested in learning more about business opportunities with the Houston Independent School District and meeting potential partners are encouraged to attend a networking event from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.

The event, sponsored by the district’s Business Assistance team for Supplier Diversity, will be held at HISD’s Food Services Administration building at 6801 Bennington, Room 1112. District officials will be on hand to answer questions about HISD’s meal programs, the procurement process and paperwork requirements.

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HISD’s Free Summer Meals Program Available for North Forest Students

Click the image to read about the program in both English and Spanish.

Children in the North Forest community will be able to participate in the Houston Independent School District’s free summer meal program from July 8 to August 1.

Free breakfast and lunch will be available for children ages 1 to 18 at any of the participating campuses.

  • Forest Brook MS, 7525 Tidwell
  • Hilliard ES, 8115 E. Houston
  • North Forest HS, 10725 Mesa
  • Shadydale ES, 5905 Tidwell

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Golfcrest Elementary students try new fruits, vegetables at school festival

Students handle a large papaya.

Students handle a large papaya.

While an apple a day may keep the doctor away, HISD’s Food Services department is hoping to get students to eat a few more than just a single piece of fruit.

Students at Golfcrest Elementary finished off a 3-week long nutritional curriculum with a taste-testing session held last week. The International Fruit and Veggie Festival allowed students to learn about food items with which they might not be familiar.

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32 HISD Schools Now Serving Free Dinner to Students

With more students spending most of their day at school, HISD’s Food Services has partnered with the 21st Century Community Learning Center program to serve dinner at various campuses to ensure students have access to healthy meals each day.

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Students have a chance to win an Apple iPad!

What can you get for telling Food Services what you think about your school’s daily breakfast and lunch dining experience? During the weeks of February 18 – March 8, secondary students at 74 selected schools will get a chance to win one of four Apple iPads Food Services is giving away. You can’t beat that! Students in grades 6-12 that go online to www.studentvp.com/HISD, complete the quick survey, fill out the confirmation page and turn it in to their school’s cafeteria manager will get their names entered in a drawing to win one (1) of four (4) Apple iPads! Continue reading

Food Services Facility tours give a taste of what’s cooking at HISD schools

Julie Spreckelmeyer, director of HISD Food Services marketing and communications, talks to HFPW members about the Tortilla dining brand and the components of a typical school lunch.

Julie Spreckelmeyer, director of HISD Food Services marketing and communications, talks to HFPW members about the Tortilla dining brand and the components of a typical school lunch.

If you’ve ever wondered what students are being served in HISD’s cafeterias today, you’re not alone.

Tours of HISD’s 220,000-square-foot Food Services Support Facility are available throughout the year, and more than two dozen members of the Houston Food Policy Workgroup (HFPW) took advantage of one recently to see first-hand what it takes to provide fresh, nutritious meals to thousands of students at the district’s more than 280 campuses each day. (See related “Behind the Scenes” video here.)

As a part of the tour, visitors were treated to a typical lunch served at Tortilla, a Fresh-Mex concept dining option available at the high-school level. The meal consisted of ground turkey/beef tacos, charro beans, Spanish brown rice, roasted vegetables, and whole-grain cookies prepared in the district’s bakery. All of these items, along with fresh-made salsas, are available at most HISD high-school campuses. Every high school cafeteria is expected to have them before the end of the year.

“This is better than restaurant food and it tastes very fresh and homemade,” said Sonia Gilmore, a member of HFPW whose two children attend HISD schools. “My son always tells me how good the food is at his school, and now I’m happy I get to taste this, to see what he raves about.”

The visitors heard from HISD Food Services Senior Administrator Brian Giles on the benefits of the facility’s production and warehousing system and recent innovations to the district’s school menu. Giles also shared the steps being taken to increase local and sustainable purchasing and food-system practices.

If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please call HISD Food Services at 713-491-5834.

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.