Friday Focus

September 3, 2021


Message from the Director

In 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday. Labor Day was founded to celebrate the achievements and ingenuity of American workers. If ever there was proof of how workers can achieve, adapt and re-invent, it's what you have done over this past year to continue feeding the children of this community. Together, we have the best "brain trust" there is, constantly pivoting on a dime and quietly making meal service happen every single day. While your customers may only see your happy faces serving them delicious food, I see what you are going through behind the scenes to get the job done. Thank you for what you are doing, it has so much meaning to so many. Enjoy this long weekend as we say good-bye to summer and be proud of the difference you make.

With gratitude,


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Due to rising Covid cases in Porter County, Valparaiso Community Schools requires all students, staff and visitors to wear a mask beginning Tuesday, September 7. More information will follow as the conditions get clarified next week.

Supply Chain Woes and Allergen Foes

By now you have experienced how difficult it is for us to receive our normal products. Every day we struggle to find appropriate substitutes and it continues to be a major challenge. The very best thing you can do to help is to keep your freezers and dry storage rooms very organized. Managers keep an "Unused Inventory" updated in real time to help me locate needed products. One of the bigger and most serious issues is keeping all the nutrition and ingredient information updated for every substitute item that is used. If you are serving a substitute, be sure managers have reviewed the ingredients and have alerted cashiers to any allergens they need to be aware of. All substitute menu items are updated daily on and is where you should look for allergen information.
Will there be a turkey shortage this Thanksgiving?

Congratulations to Joyce Crowe!

Last month, Joyce Crowe celebrated her 37th anniversary working for our department. What an extraordinary achievement for an extraordinary person. Joyce has seen a lot in her years here and we can now officially call her the Historian of School Nutrition. Thank you, Joyce, we would be lost without you. Superintendent Dr. Jim McCall paid a special visit to VHS to present Joyce with a Certificate of Appreciation.
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2021-22 Calendar

September 6, 2021 Labor Day, No School (No Work Day)

September 24, 2021 1/2 Day K-12 (Regular Work Day)

October 11-12, 2021 No School, Fall Break (No Work Days)

October 21-22, 2021 1/2 Days, K-8 (Regular Work Days)

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.