School Food Initiative Spotlight: East Grand School District
By Chef Chris Hazle
East Grand School District is up to big things these days.
With enrollment numbers rising, so are the demands on the Food & Nutrition Service Department to provide nourishing and healthful meals to the growing student population. Fortunately, two years ago, the department was able to bring on a talented and well known chef, Kristen McGuan, who previously worked in Granby and the surrounding area for years.
Kristen, the new Food Service Director, has a strong support system in the community that is continuing to grow and flourish. Her goals include having salad bars at all the school sites, updating and enhancing the high school cafeteria environment, and increasing the overall quality and amount of from-scratch items served. To assist in reaching these important goals, the district has decided to partner with LiveWell Colorado‘s School Food Initiative for 18 months.
The two LiveWell chef consultants assigned to the district are Chef Chris Hazle and Chef Dina Paz. To kick off the school year, Chris and Dina put together a fun and interactive training for the food service staff of East Grand. They spent time building weekly white boards for their kitchen to help with communication and efficiency, they reviewed safety and sanitation best practices, and as a group, they discussed recipe modifications to support successful change as a team.
In an effort to reach out to the teachers and parents, Chris and Dina attended two back to school night events, helping Kristen to promote her program. The chefs will continue spending time in the district, working alongside Kristen and her staff to help implement sustainable change and most importantly, engage with the students.
With a great team and district behind her, Kristen and her colleagues are well on their way to running a productive and efficient kitchen that serves both delicious & nutritious food.