Regulations making RI school meals a challenge


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Originally Posted Online: May 14, 2013, 9:08 pm
Last Updated: May 14, 2013, 9:17 pm
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By Nicole Lauer, nicolellauer@gmail.com

Increased regulations and food costs make meals at Rock Island schools a challenge, food service director Deb Magerkurth told school board members Tuesday night.

Ms. Magerkurth said about 130 staff members daily provide 1,861 breakfasts and 4,411 lunchesto the district's students and staff.The meal program is funded by federal and state dollars, as well as students and staff.

The government continues to change school meal requirements, she said, now forcing the district to move to whole grains, eliminate all trans fats and limit sodium, saturated fat and calorie totals.

"Many things the government has been forcing on us we have been doing all along," she said, noting that since she has been a part of the district there have been no trans fats.

The government now requires more fruits and vegetables, she said, adding costs and regulations over which types and amounts of vegetables.

Overall, district food costs have risen the past three years, she said; this year's hike was 9.13 percent. There also is a shortage of fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, she said, because some distributors were not prepared for new government regulations.

Food waste by students also is a large problem, she said. She suggested one remedy could be modifying elementary serving lines to let students choose from a variety of fruit and veggies.

Ms. Magerkurth also wants to see Rock Island High School move to more of a food court system to lower the time students spend in line and increase the number of meals the district can serve. Her wishlist also includes replacing the kitchen site at the former Intermediate Academy to deliver better quality mealsat less expense.

School board members on Tuesday also heard a report on the district's gifted program.

Staff members are now recruiting qualified second-grade students for the voluntary program geared for the top 5 to 8 percent. It currently serves 12 third-grade students, nine fourth-grade students, 12 fifth-grade students and nine sixth-grade students.

The program provides accelerated pacing, enriched experiences, problem-based learning, above-grade reading and frequent guest speakers. The fifth-sixth grade room's students also participate in a technological design program.

Tuesday's school board meeting was the first led by new board president Linda Dothard. Earl Strupp, a former school board member, also rejoined the board after winning a seat in the April 9 election.



















 



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  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.






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