The National School Nutrition Association (SNA) recently announced that the Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) Department of Greenville County Schools has received the prestigious District of Excellence Distinction in School Nutrition designation.
This designation recognizes school districts receiving self-assessment scores of 80 percent or higher in all four “key” areas in the Keys to Excellence program. This high score demonstrates knowledge and application of national best practices in nutrition and nutrition education, communications and marketing, administration, and operations.
The outstanding accomplishments of FANS include:
· Greenville County Schools’ food safety plan has been recognized as one of the best in the country for school food service. FANS adheres to strict guidelines and monitoring of the program by having third party audits and ongoing employee training.
· A culinary training program for GCS employees was implemented to create healthier menus by serving more fresh fruits and vegetables, increase whole grain items, and provide more items that are made from scratch. This program resulted the awarding this year of the Healthy Carrot Award by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
· FANS also developed a marketing plan for high schools which has increased sales. Food service managers track costs on a daily basis which has resulted in all 14 high schools meeting their budgetary goals.
“We’re honored to receive this School Nutrition Association designation because it recognizes the hard work of our school food and nutrition employees to make school meals delicious, attractive, nutritious, and economical,” said Superintendent Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher.
Keys to Excellence is a national best practice standards program that has been a core component of SNA’s professional development and training programs since 1992. It provides a way for school districts to compare their program to the industry’s gold standard while helping meet their goals to serve healthy, delicious food in a cost-effective way.
As Keys to Excellence users click-through the Web-based self-assessment, they rate their performance on national, objective best practice standards. Through the best practice standards and resource section, they are offered innovative, practical tools and ideas to create nutritious, attractive meals, and run the school food and nutrition program operations effectively through sound business practices and financial management. After completing the Keys, directors can compare their programs to districts nationwide on several demographic parameters.
To learn more about the District of Excellence program, please visit www.schoolnutrition.org/KEYS.