Friday Focus

January 6, 2023


message from the director

Welcome to 2023! January signals new beginnings, second chances and resolutions. Did you know that by February, almost 80% of resolutions fail? According to experts, the key to success is to create habits, not resolutions. Mastering one small habit has a domino effect which helps you succeed and inspires confidence to achieve more. Dr. Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers Distinguished Professor, writes, "Whether you call your personal goals New Year's resolutions or not, there is a better way to achieve them: create good habits. When an action becomes a habit, you do not have to remember when, where, why, or how to do it. It gets done because it becomes part of your daily routine." This is good advice for work goals, too. Start small and make it part of your daily routine.

With gratitude,


power up pals save the day

Jackie's Christmas poem about power up pals came to life on stage at Heavilin. There was a performance during every lunch period while students ate.
Heavilin Holiday Show

Letters to Santa

The Porter County Museum published letters to Santa submitted to the Vidette-Messenger in 1972. Brooke Prusak found these letters from our very own Joyce Crowe and her siblings written fifty years ago!

food research and action center news

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and its landmark National Strategy set an ambitious but achievable goal of ending hunger by 2030. A key part of this strategy is advancing a pathway to Healthy School Meals for All. This goal builds off the lessons learned during the pandemic, when nationwide waivers allowed schools to serve free meals to all students. Those waivers expired in June 2022. The start of the 2022–2023 school year saw a return to pre-pandemic operations in most states, which meant that most students must once again be certified for free or reduced-price meals. As a result, millions of families that relied on school meals being available at no charge have lost that lifeline. Learn about successful statewide campaigns where school meals legislation was proposed or passed, and find resources with sample messages to urge your Members of Congress to support Healthy School Meals for All in your state by visiting
Big picture

are you a whole grain guru?

Take the quiz below to find out.

Cooking with peppers

This video is fascinating...from the USDA scientists who develop different pepper varieties to creative recipes with Food Network's Chef Elliott Farmer.
Cooking with Science: Peppers

smart watches for cows?

Using smart technology to monitor the health, reproductivity, location, and environmental conditions of cattle can help with food safety and supply chain efficiency, but this monitoring costs money. To combat this, researchers publishing in the journal iScience on December 1 have designed a wearable smart device for cows that captures the kinetic energy created by even their smallest movements and uses it to power smart ranch technology.
Big picture

Need Marketing and Promotion Ideas?

Download the 2022-23 Promotion Calendar from the School Nutrition Association (click the box below). Managers can access this file from the Leadership drive, too, in the forms folder.

For Laughs...

Yes, spelling is important! This meme was on Facebook and made me laugh. Speaking of Facebook, please remember to like our posts. Facebook's algorithm puts posts in more people's feeds if they get a lot of likes. This is how our messages are seen by others and how we increase our visibility in the community.
Big picture

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 Manager, Parkview, 6 hours *new*

FS Tech, Cooks Corners, 5.5 hours *new*

FS Tech, Central, 3.5 hours

FS Tech, TJM, 4 hours

2022-23 Calendar

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

February 17, 2023 - No School (No Work)

February, 20, 2023 - President's Day, No School (No Work)

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

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.