Friday Focus

November 18, 2022


message from the director

During this time of year, we are reminded of the things we are thankful for. With all the demands on our time, it is important that we slow down just a bit and think about what's good in our lives. I know for me, my "work family" is one of those things I am most grateful for. Coming to the office each day is a pleasure because we are doing valuable work...together. Each and every one of you plays an important role. You give your best and care about doing what's right, and this is why I am one of the lucky few. You help me stretch my imagination, make me laugh and keep me focused. I never feel alone because I have the greatest partners on the planet!

With gratitude,


Funny Thanksgiving Video

Thanksgiving Feast

Thank you for the pictures of your Thanksgiving Feasts. It was wonderful to see cafeterias transformed and delicious food served. You made lasting memories for our kids. I'm also certain that parents are happy you did not include this meal in the same week as their turkey day. Kat Jones' idea of a pizza party on Tuesday is genius and will make your last day before break a little easier.
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VHS Kitchen Supports Cheese Ball Fundraiser

The Eta Gamma chapter of the national Psi Iota Xi Sorority is a local organization in Valparaiso, founded in 1951. This worthy group raises money for community services, including hearing aids for children. One of their main fundraisers is a cheese ball sale. For many, many years we have shared our high school kitchen and equipment with them to make their cheese balls on a Saturday. This year, Nancy Moore and Debbie Johnson supervised their production.

Giving Tree

VCS School Nutrition is adopting a family of four children in need to help make their Christmas special. Ashley has done a fantastic job organizing this! She and Jen created a "Giving Tree" in the office where you can pick an ornament with a gift to buy. There are gifts for any budget, from a pair of socks to winter coats and board games. If you would like to participate, stop by to pick an "ornament" and help make the holidays happy for these children.
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Easy Thanksgiving Dessert

I tried this recipe out last weekend and thought it was pretty good and very easy. Three things I would change are 1) Use 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of all white sugar; 2) Put a foil tent over the top after 30-35 minutes because it seemed to brown quickly and 3) Reduce the amount of evaporated milk to 12 oz.

the six elements of food merchandising

There are six elements to food merchandising. The phrase "we eat with our eyes," has scientific backing. Images, rather than words, are more likely to make a difference. When was the last time you stood in front of the serving area to see what students see? Managers, be sure to take your staff on a tour to do this. If you're at an elementary school, bend down and view the area from their eye level. You work really hard on promotions so this information might help. Take a minute to check out "Six Elements of Food Merchandising." While this report covers all food retail including restaurants and grocery stores, there are plenty of ideas to take your displays to the next level. is a great resource for you to consider when ordering promotion supplies. You might even get ideas for setting your Thanksgiving table.
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digital resources


Any permanent employee (including substitutes) interested in any of these positions can apply by emailing a brief letter of interest to Kathy Kane, Director at

Non-employees can apply by completing an online application as an External Applicant here:

FS Tech, Central, 3.5 hours

FS Tech, Parkview, 4.5 hours

FS Tech, BF, 4.5 hours

FS Tech, TJM, 4 hours

2022-23 Calendar

November 23-25, 2022 Thanksgiving Break, No School (No Work)

December 16, 2022 No School (No Work unless used as Weather Make Up Day)

December 19 - January 2, 2023 Winter Break, No School (No Work)

January 16, 2023 Martin Luther King Day, No School (No Work)

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Past issues of Friday Focus are posted on our department website on the Staff Training page here:


About Us

Our mission is to support academic and lifelong success by nourishing students and building healthy eating habits.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.