By Evie Blad
School food workers say they need more training and resources to keep up with changes made in the wake of new nutrition standards created under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
In a recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 58 percent of 3,372 total respondents said cooks and front-line servers needed training on basic cooking skills, and 68 percent said nutrition directors needed training in developing or modifying menus to meet the new standards.
“To run successful programs and meet updated nutrition standards, most school districts expected to make at least one change in their production approach, like cooking more meals from scratch or implementing recipe changes to ensure appropriate and consistent nutrient content,” the report says.
The nationally representative survey was administered during the 2012-13 school year. Thats before the U.S. Department of Agriculture set training and professional development standards for school food workers. Those standards set minimum training and education levels for food personnel that vary by district size.