The Dish

Food Service Production Center

Winter 2019

Office of Food Service

Joe Brown, Director of Food Service

Robin Chapman, Assistant Director of Food Service

Edith Murphy, Area Supervisor

Brenda Klein, Area Supervisor

Lynn Maistros, Area Supervisor

Liz Solomon, Area Supervisor

Jodena Beale, Food Service Supervisor

Les Hamilton, Food Service Production Center Supervisor

Jeannine Marcum, Dietitian

Chris Weatherholtz, Nutrition/Farm to School Coordinator K-12

Professional Learning Opportunities:

Ohio State University Extension Educators shared the following web sites and informational brochures:

Growing Franklin - This site has classes, events and informative articles out of the OSUE Ag and Natural Resources program.

Spring Gardening Workshops on the East side

Spring Gardening Workshops on the South side

Central Ohio Growers Report and winter weather update

4H Project Green Teacher Newsletter - This newsletter includes upcoming special events, as well as, helpful information.

The National Farm to School Movement

For those of you that are new to the Farm to School initiative, it is a national movement supported by the United States Department of Agriculture. The goal is to enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local farmers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools. The three main areas of focus are local food procurement, nutrition education, and school gardens.

Columbus City Schools Food Service Production Team joined the movement about two and a half years ago starting with the Lean and Green movement (one nutritional plant-based meal per week) and the purchase of locally grown food. This year we added a curriculum coordinator to the team in order to connect school gardens to the curriculum and provide experiential learning opportunities for our children. These opportunities continue to grow stronger at Columbus City Schools! We have grown from 23 gardens last year to 34, so we are close to our goal of 40 new or improved school winter gardens.


Support, Resources and Materials!

As we reach out and network with the many agencies and grant opportunities that are happy to support these initiatives, we are able to provide amazing resources and materials to teachers who often, in the past, had to pay for the materials to provide this hands-on learning opportunity for their children. Pictured below are examples of what has been given to schools as start-up supplies and support.

Contact me if you are interested in starting your outdoor garden/learning lab!

Some of Our New Garden Partners

YOU REALLY NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT! A Helpful Website for Integrating Garden Lessons

It's great to see all the garden learning labs growing in number and production, however, I have had several conversations with our educators about how difficult it is to get out to the garden on a regular basis. This USDA website (embedded below) has amazing lessons that include student sheets, videos, as well as, great activities and can be found on our own "CCS Departments" website under Unified Arts, Health and Physical Education, under the heading:

K-12 Health Education Online Agricultural Curriculum

National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix.

Scroll down and click,

"Quick Search — Lesson Plans"

to get to the Matrix. (hover over the image above to see the matrix).

Check out one of the lessons and you will be hooked! The Matrix allows you to click your grade level K-12, subject and topic!

Master Gardeners Are Coming to Columbus City Schools!

OSU Master Gardeners Are Signing Up to Work With Our Garden Teachers!

The Master Gardener graduates from Ohio State University, are participating in "Adopt a School Garden" initiative and are adopting many of our CCS school gardens. This support for our teachers is going to be invaluable. Many of us are thrilled to bring gardening to our students as a hands-on learning lab, however, when problems arise we were not sure what to do and quite honestly really didn't have time to research. Now help will be a phone call away! Many thanks to Mike Hogan, Extension Educator & Associate Professor, Agriculture & Natural Resources, for connecting this program to our teachers.

Aquaponics: The Wave of the Future

Our students are learning about next generation career opportunities through a hands-on experiential learning opportunity provided by our Teaching and Learning Secondary Science Curriculum Department! Each day, several students come to the Food Service Production Center from several different high schools in our district and have created a Garden Club here at the Food Service Production Center. They are learning about where food comes from and how to grow it themselves in a variety of ways. And of course, having a great time doing it! Pictured below: Tonisha Elder, Assistant to the Director of Food Service Production, working with our high school students; Jada Bolden, Nisha Thapa, Areanna Fowler.
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The Food Service Production Team is so excited to announce that we were awarded the SWACO composting grant to start a composting pilot at CCS. This grant will provide the money for worm towers, composting spin bins, compost couriers, teacher resources and children's literature for the schools participating in the pilot. The elementary schools are Devonshire, Maize and Ecole Kenwood French Immersion. The middle school participating is Columbus Preparatory School for Girls. Each of these sites will have a "Green Team" of students who lead the charge for change and thereby have a positive impact on their community, as well as, their own future. As we learn from the pilot, we will be planning our expansion for next year. We would love to have you join us. If you are interested contact, Chris Weatherholtz at

Helpful Lean and Green Information From Our CCS Dietitian

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Here's More:

Our CCS dietitian, Jeannine Marcum, has wonderful resources and supports for our CCS teachers and students. Most teachers do not know that she has a "Taste Testing" event she will bring to your classroom. Feel free to reach out to her for more information. Here she has shared some information and websites to help get students involved.

Involving Students in the Lean and Green Campaign

• Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which promote increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains with a minimal amount of meat and dairy (flexitarian).

• Ohio is ranked # 6 in highest rates of obesity in North Americans aged 10 to 17 (2016-17 data).

  • Eating plant-based helps to maintain a healthy weight, increase energy level, and lower risk of type II diabetes.

  • USDA has confirmed that meat production is more harmful to the environment than plant production. For example, pound for pound the life of an animal requires more grain (for feed), pesticides, water and fossil fuels (electricity, gasoline) than the production of an equivalent amount of beans and grains.

  • Farmed animals produce an estimated 130 times more waste than the US human population, polluting water, soil, and air.

  • Your meatless eaters want to give you feedback too.

  • Protein needs are met with an adequate plant-based diet. In

    terms of health, legumes, and pulses prove tough to beat nutritionally.

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Ready for Some Warm Comfort Food?

A vegetarian meal doesn't have to be kale with a side of carrots! And this recipe shared by our Assistant Director, Robin Chapman, is proof! In each edition of the "Dish", we have featured a recipe that was kid-friendly, so the teachers could share it with students. However, this recipe is sure to delight the whole family and can help us all join the Lean and Green Movement!

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie


1 Tbl. plus 4 Tbl. divided vegan butter

½ cup finely diced onion

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups of vegetable broth

1 Tbl. Of low-sodium soy sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bag 12-16 oz. of frozen mixed vegetables or frozen peas and carrots

1 bag of vegan meatless crumbles

Mashed potatoes using vegan butter and nondairy milk or nondairy creamer with 2 ½ lbs. of potatoes.

Gravy: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat melt one Tbl. of vegan butter.

Add the onion and sauté for 10-15 minutes until soft and light brown.

Remove the onion from the pan and place in a small bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining 4 Tbl. of vegan butter to the saucepan and melt over medium-low heat,

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for three minutes.

Gradually stir in the vegetable broth and continue stirring, over medium-low heat, until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the cooked onions back to the pan and add soy sauce if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place mixed vegetables and meatless crumbles in a casserole dish. Stir to combine. Add gravy and stir to coat vegetables and crumbles.

Top with mashed potatoes and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until edges begins to bubble. Remove foil and bake around 15 minutes more until edges are bubbly and potatoes brown slightly.

This is a really nice recipe to serve on a cold snowy day. Gravy recipe was adapted from a recipe on Enjoy!!