Friday Focus

April 28, 2023


Message from the Director

Spring is here (I think) and time for evaluations. Actually, I like to think of them as "Performance Conversations." Evaluations are an important tool leading to success for everyone. Your supervisor will be open and honest in pointing out what you are great at and where you could improve or if you need more training. Since we are all human, everyone will have an area that needs improvement and that will guide you to a goal. Supervisors will be reviewing your evaluation from last year and measuring your progress in the areas to improve and the goals that were set. Each and every one of you is critical to the success of our operation and we want you to have the tools you need to be successful. A new section in the evaluation is professional standards, communication and email. Federal regulation requires that you have to complete hours of training each year in order to work in child nutrition. If you missed the provided training, work out a plan with your supervisor to make sure you get the hours you need. Be sure to read your email daily for important information and opportunities as part of your communication expectation. Most of all, use this opportunity to grow, stretch and learn. Our child nutrition programs wouldn't exist without you!

With gratitude,


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proposed changes to menu regulations

Sally Spero describes in CN Executive the different schools of thought on two proposed changes. If these become effective, it will drastically change how our menus are created. Breakfast will never look the same. You can help by commenting to USDA. These comments are taken into consideration before implementing any changes. You can quickly submit the prewritten comments or write your own. Go here:

There’s Confusion Over Lower Sodium Standards

Controversial lower sodium standards are looming, and disagreement remains about what is

best for everyone. On the one hand, many believe that serving lower-sodium foods can help

prevent disease in later life. Others believe the new sodium levels being recommended are too low. As a result, food quality will be compromised, and students will not like the taste of school food. This could drive students to eat more outside foods, which have no standards at all. The potential lower sodium standards are also discouraging food manufacturers from developing new products, at least until the situation is made clear.

There’s Uncertainty About Proposed Sugar Standards

For the first time, regulators are proposing standards that govern added sugars in school meals.

If this occurs, it could impact everything from breakfast cereals to milk choices, granola bars

to ketchup packets. Food manufacturers, like school foodservice directors, are very concerned

about how to develop products that meet multiple stringent guidelines for the school market.

What is the Rethink School Meals Program?

National Pretzel Day Success!

Turns out students went knots over National Pretzel Day. Several schools reported record breaking participation serving soft pretzels and cheese, but our School Nutrition pros never got bent out of shape. This definitely kneads to make it on our cycle menus, don't you think? Not a fan of my pretzel puns? Don't worry, I won't be in-salted.
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Do you have Anthem insurance?

Take a look at how easy it is to use Sydney the Anthem Health app. It makes the complicated world of insurance much easier to navigate and helps make the most of all your benefits. Complete instructions on how to install and use the app are in the link below the video.
Sydney Mobile App - Anthem

Special Agents discover Weinermobile

When it comes to Valpo news and happenings, nothing gets by these three detectives. They investigated a sighting of the Weinermobile this week parked at the Valparaiso Inn by Central Elementary.
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You're Invited!

Huge thank you to Ashley who received several delicious donations for an Appreciation Lunch honoring YOU, our School Lunch Heroes. The restaurant community was quick to show their gratitude for the hard work you do each day...and they totally relate. Stop by and grab a bite or take it with you.
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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, TJM, 4 hours

FS Tech, Central, 4 hours

FS Tech, SELF, 5.5 hours

FS Tech, Flint Lake, 4 hours

2022-23 Calendar

May 5, 2023 - School Lunch Hero Day!

May 25, 2023 - Half Day K-12 (Regular Work Day), Last Day of School

May 26, 2023 - Regular Work Day, Close Kitchens

May 30, 2023 - Summer Food Service Program Begins

August 14, 2023 - First Day Back to Work; Mandatory Back to School Workshop

August 15, 2023 - Regular Work Day, Open Kitchens

August 16, 2023 - First Day of School

Check out myschoolmenus!

You can also download the free myschoolmenus app!

Did you miss an issue of Friday Focus?

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.