Friday Focus

March 10, 2023


message from the director

I enjoy celebrating National School Breakfast Week and so do students. Just look at all these happy faces! Every student you serve breakfast to gets an instant academic boost. You can feel proud that you're fueling them up for learning. Learning more about our Turbo Chef pizza oven was the topic this week in the VHS kitchen. There were serious recipe creations going on and I gladly volunteered to be a taste tester. This is innovation at its finest and I'm impressed. There are many more ideas and sources of inspiration in SN Magazine and Served Digizine in the digital resources section below. Lastly, please take a minute to help take action to save our program from congressional funding cuts and advocate for positive reform. Thank you for being the best of the best!

With gratitude,


It's Happening...

The clock is ticking as we prepare to close down the VHS serving area and create a temporary location. The new design of the servery will allow us to be more creative with menus. Ashley recently scheduled a training with Chef Josh Meeker, corporate chef for Phoenix Marketing and Lori Writt from Rich's products. The goal is to create the perfect pizza from scratch to run through the pizza oven fast enough to keep up with demand during meal service. The Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza was definitely my favorite.
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The School Nutrition Association's (SNA) Legislative Action Conference was held this week in Washington, DC and a strong group of Indiana members attended to meet with legislators and speak to USDA. They voiced concern about a number of things including their proposed changes to meal pattern requirements (decreased sodium, sugar) and how it would negatively impact our programs. The SNA Position Paper is urging Congress to do four things:

1. Allow schools to offer meals at no charge to all students.

2. Permanently increase higher reimbursement rate funding. Current funding will end in four months and reimbursement will be reduced. Decreased federal funding will fail to cover costs, leaving school meal programs in crisis.

3. Maintain current nutrition standards for menus instead of adding new unachievable rules.

4. Reduce the red tape and administrative burden on school nutrition programs.

Right now you can help take action by signing up to send a prewritten letter to congress. It's an easy 30 seconds that will make an important impact. Click here:

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Summer Food Service Program

We are starting to organize the Summer Food Service Program. Free meals will be served to students in summer school at TJE and TJM with an open period for the public to bring in kids 18 and younger to receive free meals. The program begins May 30. More information will come soon on how to apply to work and what training is required. Not every school or location in a community is eligible to serve free meals, though. The census map identifies low income areas and if the address of a location is in the "red," the site qualifies. Click on the Area Eligibility link below to see red areas in Valpo or for an address anywhere in the U.S. It is very interesting and based on recent census information.
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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, SELF, 5.5 hours

FS Tech, VHS, 6 hours

FS Tech, Flint Lake, 4 hours

2022-23 Calendar

March 27-31, 2023 - Spring Break, No School (No Work)

April 7, 2023 - Half Day K-12 (Regular Work Day)

April 10, 2023 - No School (No Work Day unless used as Weather Make Up 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 School Begins

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.