Category Archives: Nutrition

Child Nutrition Services hosts Back to Basics training next month

The Maine Department of Education will conduct its annual Back to Basics training on August 23. This two-day event will provide an orientation for new school nutrition directors  and  other program staff involved in the oversight and administration of school nutrition programs who are interested in a refresher.

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Summer meals programs expand in Maine

Child nutrition programs at the Maine Department of Education have been working hard to close the “hunger gap” experienced over the summer months through the USDA’s Summer Food Rocks food distribution program. Several new summer programs kicked off in June, reaching a total of 400 meal sites across the state supervised by 120 sponsors.

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Schools in RSU 17 recognized with prestigious award

All eight elementary schools in RSU 17 were recognized as bronze award winners of USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) at an assembly at Paris Elementary School. The awarded schools were Agnes Gray School, Guy E. Rowe School, Hebron Station School, Harrison Elementary School, Otisfield Community School, Oxford Elementary School, Paris Elementary, and Waterford Memorial School.

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Summer food service program kicks off this month

Later this month, numerous agencies including the Maine Department of Education will kick off the sixth annual Summer Food Service Program in Bangor and Brewer.

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Professional standards for school nutrition professionals

The Federal School Food Service Professional Standards took effect July 1, 2015. This impacts the hiring process for new School Food Service Directors or someone responsible for director duties hired after July 1, 2015.

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Team Knox Rocks take State award in Farm to School Cook-off

Apple, maple, oat muffin tops, a spinoff of a banana spilt made with yogurt, a decorated hard-boiled egg, and a beat and berry smoothie were on the breakfast menu as two teams of school food service employees took to the kitchen at Kennebec Valley Community College this week. This was the final round of Maine’s first Farm to School Cook-off designed to promote using local products in school lunches.

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Top teams compete in final Farm to School cook-off

AUGUSTA –School food service staff from RSU 61 and a combined team of Five Town CSD/MSAD 28 and RSU 13 will compete to become the 2016 Maine Farm to School Cook-off Champion. The final cook-off will be held today, Tuesday, May 17 at the Kennebec Valley Community College, Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley at the Averill Building.

The competing teams are the top winners from the regional cook-offs which were held in April at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta. This is the first annual Maine Farm to School Cook-off to promote locally grown products in school meals.

Each team will prepare two meals within a specific time frame using at least three ingredients that are grown, raised, caught, or manufactured in the State of Maine and meet National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements. All recipes will later be shared in a Maine farm to school cook-off recipe book.

A panel of judges consisting of a Kennebec Valley Community College culinary arts student, school nutrition director, and professional chef will score the dishes based on presentation, taste, creativity, and feasibility to be used in a school breakfast or lunch program. The winning team will be awarded a plaque and have the opportunity to be spokespeople for the second annual cook off in 2017.

The cook-off is part of the State’s child nutrition projects and follows legislation to support healthy meals in schools. For more information on Maine’s Local Foods to Local Schools program, visit www.maine.gov/doe/nutrition/programs/localfoods/.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the May 17 final cook-off but need to confirm prior to the day of the event.

For more information and to confirm coverage, contact: Anne Gabbianelli at anne.gabbianelli@maine.gov or call 624-6747/592-4439.

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Maine’s first annual Farm to School Cook-off promotes locally grown goods

The Maine Department of Education launched its first Farm to School Cook-off this month with volunteer, food service staff teams representing five school districts and communities. The cook-off is part of the State’s child nutrition projects and follows legislation to support healthy meals in schools.

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Maine DOE’s child nutrition consultant recognized

Maine Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Consultant Gail Lombardi, RD was presented the 2016 Katherine O. Musgrave Public Service Award earlier this month at the Maine Nutrition Council’s annual conference.

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Cook-off promotes local foods in schools; a healthy competition

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education is promoting locally grown products in school meals by holding the first annual 2016 Maine Farm to School Cook-off.

The regional cook-offs will be held Wednesday, April 13 at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and Thursday, April 14 at the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta. The final cook-off on May 17 will be held at the Kennebec Valley Community College, Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley.

Each volunteer team will prepare two meals within a specific time frame using at least three ingredients that are grown, raised, caught, or manufactured in the State of Maine and meet National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements. All recipes will later be shared in a Maine farm to school cook-off recipe book.

Food service staff representing RSU 61, Portland, Lewiston, RSU 38, Five-Town CSD and RSU 13 will participate in this year’s event. Westbrook and Augusta CTE centers along with KVCC were chosen as cook-off sites for their culinary arts facilities which include well-equipped kitchens and individual cooking and presentation areas.

A panel of judges for the regional cook-offs consists of a CTE culinary arts student, school nutrition director, and professional chef. They will score the dishes based on presentation, taste, creativity, and feasibility to be used in a school breakfast or lunch program.

For final judging, a Kennebec Valley Community College culinary arts student will join a school nutrition director and professional chef. The winning team will be awarded a plaque and have the opportunity to be spokespeople for the second annual cook off in 2017.

The cook-off is part of the State’s child nutrition projects and follows legislation to support healthy meals in schools. For more information on Maine’s Local Foods to Local Schools program, visit www.maine.gov/doe/nutrition/programs/localfoods/.

Members of the media are welcome to attend but need to confirm prior to the event. This event is NOT open to the public.

For more information and to confirm coverage, contact: Anne Gabbianelli at anne.gabbianelli@maine.gov or call 624-6747.

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