Elementary students may know her as the Lunch Lady – the lovable storybook character who serves up lunch with a side of justice. But Nan Cramer takes school lunches and good nutrition seriously.
Cramer, a registered dietitian with HISD’s Nutrition Services, recently earned certification as a school nutrition specialist. She received the credentials last month after taking a comprehensive credentialing exam administered by the School Nutrition Association, a national industry association that supports schools with professional development and other programs. Continue reading →
Equipped with planters, soil, and seeds, HISD’s Nutrition Services workers had all hands-on deck as they taught nearly 9,000 elementary and middle school students various ways to dig into good nutrition.
The day’s festivities were a part of Camp Lit, a two-day festival designed to promote literacy throughout the district. Gathered in the parking lot of Delmar Fieldhouse, students participated in outdoor tailgate-themed literacy games hosted by various district departments, sponsors, and partners. Continue reading →
After eight weeks of rigorous classroom and on-site training, four former food service attendants are now prepared to lead and manage their own school cafeterias.
Stephanie Aguilar, Alma Dominguez, Neco Manning, and Tameco Williams are the first graduates of Nutrition Services’ LEAD — Leadership, Education And Development — Program.
The comprehensive training initiative is designed to provide school cafeteria workers with the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to advance to the next level in their career and become a team lead responsible for managing cafeteria operations. Continue reading →
Marylyn Williams wants students who visit the cafeteria at Chavez High School to experience more than just food. She wants them to feel welcomed and at home.
As the campus cafe manager, Williams believes she is responsible not only for serving appetizing meals but also for creating an environment that influences students for the better. Each day, she said, she makes it a point to greet every student with a smile, show them respect, and offer a listening ear.
“Treat others as you would like them to treat you,” Williams said. “If you say good morning and thank you to the students, they will eventually say those same things back to you.” Continue reading →
The Houston Independent School District will be supporting relief efforts in communities across Houston by providing meals to families and individuals affected by the recent floods. Starting on Saturday, Sept. 2, HISD’s Nutrition Services will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner free of charge at nine sites in the Houston area. The meals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to all community members. Continue reading →
Betti J. Wiggins, HISD’s officer of Nutrition Services, was presented a 2017 Silver Plate Award by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) during the 63rd Annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration this month in Chicago.
“The month of May has been full of excitement,” said Wiggins, who officially joined the district May 15. “Not only did I begin a new role in the nation’s seventh-largest school district, but the work I have done over the years to advocate for children and their communities was recognized by my peers and others in the food service industry. This award brings it all full circle and reminds me of exactly why I come to work each and every day.” 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 →
It’s fall in Houston, and with the season comes football and tailgate parties. HISD’s Nutrition Services department is hosting lunch-time tailgate parties every Thursday at several HISD high schools. Jones Futures Academy and Scarborough High School were the first two schools to win an all-out tailgate party where students can enjoy a meal and socialize outside the cafeteria.
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.