Cafeteria offers monthly vegetable samples

Program introduces healthy options into menu rotation


Yonah Davis

Senior Kate Brinkman picks up broccoli sample on Dec. 8. Different vegetable samples are offered every month.

Breanna Thompson, Yonah Davis, and

School nutrition manager Tami Borgen said she hopes through the nutrition department’s participation in the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), Park will be able to offer a wide variety of delicious and healthy foods in the cafeteria.

“We all know, for learning, for all students, it’s important to have a healthy diet, so that’s what we are implementing,” Borgon said.

According to nutrition operations supervisor Jakie Barell through the program SHIP, a vegetable is chosen and then the nutrition staff makes a cold and hot dish and chooses which one is better to try for a taste test.

“After the taste testing is done, then those vegetables have to be on the menu once a month for the rest of the school year and there will be four or five new vegetables,” Barell said.

Sophomore Elizabeth Newder felt that the vegetable offerings were satisfactory.

I mean it’s food. I mean it’s not gourmet or anything like that but still it fills you up,” Newder said.

Newder said she has some ideas on how to improve the food, yet she does not have high hopes that the quality will increase.

“Heat it up a little bit and add some seasoning. Start from scratch, make some homemade stuff,” Newder said. “I mean if they were actually good then maybe (I would eat it), but so far I don’t see any hope in that happening.”

According to administrative assistant Jodie Woelffer, the cafeteria staff feels impressed with most students’ open minds and respectful behavior.

“The chef was very impressed by all the students, not just here but at all the schools, how open they’ve been on tasting it, and he also had commented on how well behaved our high schoolers are,” Woelffer said.

Woelffer said the nutrition department hopes students provide honest feedback about vegetable options so they can provide the best food for the school.

“Ultimately we want the students to like the vegetables so please participate and give an honest opinion. Really we want (students) to like what we are picking, but if it is something no one likes then we bring it back to the drawing board,” Woelffer said.