Young chefs battle for top honors in culinary competition held in Vallejo – The Reporter

By Matthew Adkins

Students from a handful of Vallejo and Fairfield elementary schools put their culinary skills to the test Saturday for the 5th rendition of Jr. Chef Challenge held at Norman King Community Center in Vallejo.

Participating this year were 24 budding chefs from Beverly Hills Elementary, Elsa Widenmann Elementary, Laurel Creek Elementary, Matt Garcia College and Career Academy and Suisun Valley elementary schools. The students are all part of the Kids Cook with Heart program sponsored by the American Heart Association and Kaiser Permanente.

During the competition, teams of four and five young chefs faced off against one another in five timed rounds, each focusing on a different aspect of food artistry.

Source: Young chefs battle for top honors in culinary competition held in Vallejo

Increased meal prices, large construction contracts on Fairfield-Suisun agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Increased breakfast and lunch prices at middle schools and high schools, contracts for parking lot, field and portable classroom expansion at two schools, and reviews of Title 1 (federal funding) programs at two schools are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight.

Trustees are expected to approve the meal price increases, effective July 1, that call for breakfast prices to rise from $1.50 to $1.75 and lunch prices to rise from $3 to $3.25 at the district’s secondary schools. Breakfasts and lunches served at elementary schools will remain the same for the time being, however.

According to agenda documents, Margan Holloway, director of child nutrition services, noted U.S. Code 1760 requires schools to charge students not eligible for the free and reduced-price meal program a price that is, on average, equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement.

 

Source: Increased meal prices, large construction contracts on Fairfield-Suisun agenda

County pitches in to help Solano students drink healthy – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano County supervisors on Tuesday approved a $74,000 contract with the Fairfield-Suisun schools and a $59,000 contract with Vacaville schools to install 36 water-filling stations within the districts.

There will be 18 provided to each district.

Funds are provided through the Public Health Department. The funds also support comprehensive school physical activity training with teachers and administrators within both school districts, the county reported.

Source: County pitches in to help Solano students drink healthy

Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned – Times Herald

By John Glidden

After 18 months of trying, Vallejo school board Trustee Burky Worel will get his wish, as the two most important agencies in the city of Vallejo are scheduled to host a joint meeting.

The Vallejo City Council and Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 26, at the Vallejo High Annex, Professional Development Center, 1347 Amador St.

The meeting will feature discussions about school resource officers, traffic issues around schools, mobile food vendors and enforcement issues, and first time homebuyer program for teachers.

Each topic has a 15-minute time limit, according to the agenda.

The Vallejo City Clerk’s Office confirmed there are no prepared staff reports for the four items.

 

Source: Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces California School Districts Nutrition Grant Winners – CDE

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that 50 schools received grants for the 2016–17 school year to make changes in their cafeterias to encourage students to select and enjoy nutritious foods. The grants come from the Team Nutrition Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of California Program.

The program is designed to help schools makeover their lunchrooms and food menus by providing funds for a variety of strategic changes, including creating visually interesting signs, adding innovative descriptions of menu items, and placing fruit at the checkout register. Under the grant program, districts receive nearly $14,000 to distribute to two schools.

In addition to the grant money, district winners will receive additional support from the Smarter Lunchroom Movement of California Collaborative led by the California Department of Education (CDE), the Dairy Council, and the University of California Fresh Nutrition Education Program. Students will also receive nutrition education to reinforce the lunchroom makeover messaging.

Local Habit Burger Grills Join ‘No Kid Hungry’ Campaign – Benicia, CA Patch

By Susan C. Schena

Habit Burger Grill restaurants, with several nearby locations in the North Bay, is partnering again with No Kid Hungry to raise funds to provide healthy meals to kids across the nation who are unsure of their next meal.

Customers who donate $2 or more to the No Kid Hungry campaign will receive a free Charburger with Cheese certificate, good on a return visit now through the end of September.

One in five kids in the U.S. struggles with hunger, company officials said.

Source: Local Habit Burger Grills Join ‘No Kid Hungry’ Campaign – Benicia, CA Patch

Vacaville USD leaders to hear test score results, nutrition program update – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders, when they meet Thursday night, will hear a report on the most recent state standardized test scores, hear an update on the school district’s student nutrition program, and likely approve support for Proposition 51 on the November ballot.

Mark Frazier, chief academic officer, and Kim Forrest, director of instruction, curriculum and assessment, will note results of the 2015-16 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP.

Released to the public Aug. 24, the tests scores indicated that 37 percent of those taking the all-computerized tests last spring — some 6,200 students in grades three to eight and 11 — met or exceeded state standards in mathematics, an increase of 1 percent over last year.

Source: Vacaville Unified School District leaders to hear test score results, nutrition program update

Proposed Block Grants for School Meals Trouble Child-Nutrition Groups – Education Week

By Evie Blad

Child nutrition groups and Democrats in Congress say a proposal to offer blanket block grants to fund school meal programs in up to three states may threaten equity and lead to inadequate nutrition for low-income children who often rely on school food more than their wealthier peers.

The House plan to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which sets rules for school meals, would offer the block grants in exchange for lifting federal meal program rules in participating states. In exchange, the states, which would have to apply to participate in the block grant option, would have to offer at least one “affordable” meal a day. Supporters of the plan, including sponsor Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), say it would allow for flexibility at the state and local level and allow for innovative use of federal funds to feed students.

Source: Proposed Block Grants for School Meals Trouble Child-Nutrition Groups – Rules for Engagement – Education Week

School’s out but lunch is in and looking fresher – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

School’s out for the summer, but a free, nutritious lunch for kids, always popular, is still in at several places across Vacaville.

Vacaville Unified’s summer feeding program began earlier this week, with lunchtime meals available Monday through Friday for children at three sites, with a fourth one, due to popular demand and an expressed need, added today, said Juan Cordon, the school district’s new director of child nutrition.

They are Markham Elementary, 11:30 a.m. to noon; Public Library-Town Square, 1 Town Square Place, where food is delivered, noon to 12:30 p.m.; and Fairmont Charter Elementary, 1355 Marshall Road, 12:30 to 1 p.m.; and, newly added, the Vacaville Boys & Girls Club, 100 Holly Lane, also where food is delivered, 1 to 1:30 p.m.

via: Schools out but lunch is in – The Reporter

SoCal firm opens mammoth school food distribution center in Dixon – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

School food in parts of Northern and Central California is going to get delivered more quickly and, thus, be a lot fresher because a Southern California firm officially expanded its operations, opening an airplane hangar-sized distribution center Friday in Dixon.

With some minimal fanfare and tours for invited guests in the morning, leaders of Gold Star Foods Inc., based in Ontario, opened a nearly 200,000-square-foot facility on Vaughn Road, bringing 90 local jobs to the area and providing some 300 school districts with greater access to fresh, wholesome and more locally grown foods, noted CEO Sean Leer.

Source: SoCal firm opens mammoth school food distribution center in Dixon

Free meals program underway in Vacaville – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Schools may be out for the summer, but lunch, always popular, is still in.

Vacaville Unified’s summer feeding program began this week, with free nutritious meals available Monday through Friday for children at three sites across the city.

They are Markham Elementary, 11:30 a.m. to noon; Public Library-Town Square, 1 Town Square Place, noon to 12:30 p.m.; and Fairmont Charter Elementary, 1355 Marshall Road, 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Lunches will continue through the summer months until the first week of school in mid-August. Classes begin Aug. 18.

District officials believe some 17,000 sack lunches will be served while the program — in its fifth year and funded largely by the USDA and in-kind donations from local charities — is in effect.

 

Source: Free meals program underway in Vacaville

CDE wants sponsors for summer meals program – The Reporter

School in eastern Solano County will end in early June, but low-income children’s hunger and their need for healthy meals will not.

Schools, camps, nonprofits, Indian tribal governments and government offices among many entities and groups are being urged by state education leaders to apply to become Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors. It is a way to make sure poor children get nutritious meals once school is out.

Applications are due before June 1, said Peter Tira, a spokesman for the California Department of Education, which issued a press release.

“Summer for our students should be a time of discovery, fun, and making memories,” said state schools chief Tom Torlakson. “For many California children from low-income families, however, summer can represent just the opposite, with limited opportunities for educational enrichment, a lack of safe places for social activities, or a time without healthy meals to eat.”

Source: CDE wants sponsors for summer meals program

CDE seeks summer meals sponsors for low-income students – The Reporter

School in eastern Solano County will end in early June, but low-income children’s hunger and their need for healthy meals will not.

Schools, camps, nonprofits, Indian tribal governments and government offices among many entities and groups are being urged by state education leaders to apply to become Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors. It is a way to make sure poor children get nutritious meals once school is out.

Applications are due before June 1, said Peter Tira, a spokesman for the California Department of Education, which issued a press release.

“Summer for our students should be a time of discovery, fun, and making memories,” said state schools chief Tom Torlakson. “For many California children from low-income families, however, summer can represent just the opposite, with limited opportunities for educational enrichment, a lack of safe places for social activities, or a time without healthy meals to eat.”

Source: CDE seeks summer meals sponsors for low-income students

Seeks Sponsors for Summer Meals Program – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today urged eligible organizations—schools, camps, nonprofits, Indian tribal governments, and government offices among them—to apply to become Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors and ensure underprivileged children have access to nutritious meals once school is out. Applications are due before June 1, 2016.

“Summer for our students should be a time of discovery, fun, and making memories,” Torlakson said. “For many California children from low-income families, however, summer can represent just the opposite with limited opportunities for educational enrichment, a lack of safe places for social activities, or a time without healthy meals to eat.”

Good summer nutrition plays an important role in addressing childhood obesity as well as combatting the “summer slide,” a learning loss that many children experience during the summer months.

via Seeks Sponsors for Summer Meals Program – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education).

Feeding the Teachers Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators | Edutopia

By Dr. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers

Teaching is a cognitively complex profession. In the course of a single school day, an educator must make hundreds of decisions and respond quickly to the myriad unexpected turns that life in the classroom may take. You have a high-energy job, so its essential to prime your brain and body with the right fuel.

But in the busy life of a teacher, who has time to think about healthy eating, much less sorting through the sometimes-conflicting claims about the nutritional value of various food choices? Unfortunately, the less we think about what we eat, the worse our diets may be — especially if we default to snacking on so-called convenience foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats and low in nutrient-dense ingredients that sustain energy levels.

via Feeding the Teachers Brain: Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators | Edutopia.

Deadline is Friday for Slow Food school garden grants – The Reporter

Slow Food Solano will offer grants for gardens at Solano County schools, elementary to high schools, it has been announced.

Applications will be accepted online through Friday at the nonprofit group’s website, www.slowfoodsolano.org.

Last year Slow Food awarded 17 garden grants to schools in all seven major Solano cities. The Fairfield-Suisun district cited the group for its contributions to support schools, noted Mary Bourguignon, a spokeswoman for Slow Food Solano.

via Deadline is Friday for Slow Food school garden grants.

Slow Food Solano offers school garden grants – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Slow Food Solano is offering grants for school gardens to Solano County elementary, middle and high schools.

Applications will be accepted online through Jan. 22 at www.slowfoodsolano.org and funds will be dispersed in February.

Slow Food Solano awarded 17 garden grants in 2015 to schools in all of Solano County’s seven cities, and was recognized by the Fairfield-Suisun School District for its contribution in supporting schools, students and parents. Teachers have used the funds for everything from tools and seeds to fencing to woks used for cooking the garden’s bounty.

via Slow Food Solano offers school garden grants.

California’s Farm to Preschool Program – Healthy Eating & Nutrition Education (CA Dept of Education)

What is Farm to Preschool?

F2P is a growing movement that includes activities that strengthen relationships between children in early child care and education settings and healthy, local food.

F2P activities include:

  • Purchasing, promoting and serving healthy, local foods in snacks or meals
  • Providing educational activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition
  • Creating hands-on learning opportunities for children through gardening

via Californias Farm to Preschool Program – Healthy Eating & Nutrition Education (CA Dept of Education).

School Meals May Expose Children to Unsafe Levels of BPA | Suisun City, CA Patch

By Paige Miller

Federal standards for school meals are intended to keep kids healthy. But with emphasis solely on nutrition, schools are missing another component critical to students’ health – exposure to toxic chemicals, according to a study led by Jennifer Hartle, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

School meals may contain unsafe levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical often found in canned goods and plastic packaging, according to the first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. BPA can disrupt human hormones and has been linked to health effects ranging from cancer to reproductive issues.

via Stanford Study Indicates School Meals May Expose Children to Unsafe Levels of BPA | Suisun City, CA Patch.

Fairfield-Suisun nutrition director invited to Virginia conference – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Margan Holloway, director of child nutrition services for the Fairfield-Suisun School District, has been invited to attend the School Nutrition Association’s Fall Committee Days on Oct. 16-17 in Arlington, Virginia.

The conference is fully funded by the School Nutrition Association, the school district said.

The nutrition association is an organization of 55,000 members for school nutrition professionals who are committed to advancing the quality of school meal programs through education and advocacy, the Fairfield-Suisun School District said in a press release.

via Fairfield-Suisun nutrition director invited to Virginia conference.