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Food service-enhancement process underway at Sturgis Public Schools

Superintendent Art Ebert reviews a slide-show summary of the food service improvement plan. (Photo by Dennis Volkert)

Art Ebert, superintendent at Sturgis Public Schools, outlined a food service-improvement plan for Sturgis Public Schools. 

It is a multi-phase process, Ebert told the board of education on Monday.  

Preliminary phase

During the 2022-23 academic year, consultant Rusty Stitt gathered stakeholder input and best practices to seek ways to enhance breakfast and lunch for students and to offer enhanced support for food service staff. 

The process involved focus groups, surveys, interviews and data analysis, plus suggestions by students, parents and staff. 

  • Recommendation from students and parents: More food from scratch, larger portion sizes, options that match students preference, additional healthful menu choices and a-la-carte options.
  • Feedback from staff members: Additional training, higher expectation level for all workers and higher wages.

Phase 1

  • Remove menu options that were rated poorly by students on the survey, and add menu choices ranked highly. 
  • Provide more build-your-own options. An example given: taco salad. 
  • For staff members, provide additional mentoring and training. 

Phase 2

The district seeks an outside partner to develop food service best practices, training, guidance and menu options. 

Timeline: Request for Proposal in August 2023, with proposals due in September. Interviews in October, involving students, parents, food service staff and board of education members. Select the partner in November. Partnership is put into place prior to the start of the 2024-25 academic year.

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