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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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