Food Service Department: WELCOME!
Los Gatos Union School District
Food Services Newsletter
Welcome to Los Gatos Union School District Food Service Department. This is our annual newsletter. We have lots of amazing things happening! Our new Food Service Director Kerry Billner started with the district in September of 2021. Our menu Is growing with more and more new items! We had students try many different items this year- some were met with excitement, and others ‘not so much’. We have featured more hot breakfast at the middle school, as well as house-made cold items like overnight oats and chia parfait. For lunch, we have featured some entree-size salads, Asian foods, Baja bowls (think Chipotle burrito bowl), and sandwiches on more than just sliced bread (Marbled Rye, Ciabattina, Hoagie Rolls). Utilizing Fisher kitchen as a central place for food production has proven to be efficient and time-saving, however we miss the kiddos at the sites. The amazing staff continues to adjust to the ever-moving target of the adolescent taste buds ;)
22/23 School Year Plan
Our plan for the coming school year is to create an 8-week rotating menu that features all items that were the most popular based on what we featured this school year. With a rotating menu, we will be able to stay consistent with the nutritional values available online, as well as forecast grocery purchases and food waste.
We will have a staff person stationed at Lexington Elementary School for the 22/23 school year. They will be providing food for Lexington as well as 2 new potential contract sites; Lakeside Joint School District, and Loma Prieta Joint Union School District. We are happy to expand our food service family to include more sites, and as a result more hours for staff and increased opportunities to feed hungry students.
We tentatively plan to step away from Sodexo management company, and become self-operating. However we are still deciding if that is fiscally beneficial for our department at this time. We have created an RFP and gone to bid for groceries, non-food/disposables and fresh produce. More will be revealed!
School year 21/22 was a challenge for supplies. Some days we received all our groceries, but absolutely no containers to put food in. Other days, it seemed like we had tons of paper goods & disposables, but nothing to serve for breakfast. The more the year progressed, the better things became. I have faith that the new school year will be a lot better. The biggest issue seems to be compostables; the adoption of AB1200 and AB1276 created new requirements on retail packaging. Hopefully more plants will make more compostable items that we can use for our food distribution soon!
In closing- I want to express my appreciation for all LGUSD parents, staff/faculty, administration, wellness committee members, board members and community for their support with our feeding program. I never feel attacked or doubted, I often feel empowered. I truly enjoy answering challenging and critical questions, and working with others for common solutions. I look forward to the school year 22/23 to be filled with creative ideas and positive relationships.