What’s New in the Division of Food Services

Hoagie Roll News: 1,294 Pounds of Salt Cut From School Lunches!

In April 2019, Amoroso’s Baking Company replaced the School District of Philadelphia’s hoagie roll order with the new lower sodium formula. The school district, which already regulates the amount of sodium allowed in its meals, purchases 1.68 million rolls annually. With the lower sodium rolls reducing 40 percent, or 140 mg, of sodium in each roll, schools were able to cut an additional 1,294 pounds of salt annually from school lunches.


Linkt to article: https://drexel.edu/now/archive/2019/July/Drexel-Food-Lab-Lower-Sodium-Roll/

Turkey and Cheese Hoagie Served to SDP Students
Turkey and Cheese Hoagie Served to SDP Students

2019 Pennsylvania School Breakfast Heroes!

Congratulations to Nakia Davenport and Denise Allavena for being recognized as Pennsylvania School Breakfast Heroes! Nakia and Denise, we appreciate your hard work in ensuring that our kids get the healthy breakfast they need to succeed. Keep up the great work!

National School Breakfast Week (March 4th-8th 2019)

Check out the images below to see how Food Services is celebrating National Breakfast Week!

Second Annual Pennsylvania Preferred Day
Pennsylvania Food for Pennsylvania Students

On Thursday, October 25th, full-service cafeterias across the District celebrated the Division’s second annual Pennsylvania Preferred Day with a special Farm to School menu highlighting locally sourced food from Pennsylvania producers. On this day, the students of Philadelphia filled their lunch trays with local foods which were grown and produced right here in our wonderful state of Pennsylvania. The menu featured a locally roasted chicken leg from Tyson that was hatched and processed in New Holland, PA, served with a local whole grain apple-shaped pretzel from J&J snack foods that was produced in Hatfield. The fruit and vegetables on the menu were also procured from Pennsylvania farmers located just miles outside of Philadelphia. The fruit offering was a local apple from Frecon Farms in Boyerton (https://freconfarms.com/) and the vegetable options were a local hydro Bibb lettuce side salad from Butter Valley Harvest in Bally (http://www.buttervalleyharvest.com/) and a baked local potato from Huntsingers Farm based out of Hegins (https://www.huntsingerfarms.net). The produce was distributed through the Division’s produce vendor, Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. (http://seashoreeast.com/). Pennsylvania Preferred Day is a way to honor Pennsylvania, pay tribute to our Farm to School program, and recognize National Farm to School Month which is celebrated throughout the month of October.

Recipe Video Series

The Division of Food Services is excited to launch our recipe series, a quarterly video series where we will be highlighting a healthy recipe that our staff in the field prepares from scratch, that is available to students in full-service cafeterias across the District. Click here for more videos.

Third Annual Student-Tested Food Show

“Who better than the students we serve to help us make decisions about what we put on the menu”

-Wayne Grasela, Senior Vice President of Food Services

The Division hosted its third annual Student-Tested Food Show on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.  Approximately 200 students from high schools across the District will be participating in this event, which will let students be a part of the menu planning and decision-making process. Over 70 vendors applied to present in the show, of which the top 25 were selected. In the Division’s quest for healthier items, products with cleaner labels, vegetarian and vegan options, new and innovative products, ethnic foods, and healthy breakfast items will be featured. Students will have the opportunity to sample and rate a variety of products, ranging from vegan and vegetarian options such as breaded tofu, burgers, chicken nuggets, and meatballs, to ethnic foods such as vegetable stir “fried” rice and eggrolls, to handcrafted gluten free, nut free breakfast bars. The Food Show is a great opportunity to solicit student feedback, and gives students a voice in helping shape the menu. The Division has menu’ed items presented in previous food shows and plans to incorporate highly-rated items from this year’s show into the full service menu this upcoming spring and fall.

VIP Taster’s Program at Sheridan School

The Division of Food Services strives to create menus that are balanced, nutritious and appealing to our students.  Creating meals tailored to student preferences reduces overall food waste and ensures every child we serve is satisfied.  In conjunction with our pre-plate meal provider, Preferred Meals, we engage students in the menu development process by asking them to taste-test new food items.  The VIP Taster’s Program is a student taste panel that meets regularly to evaluate meals and provide honest feedback on their preferences.  Our students have the opportunity to try culturally and ethnically diverse foods. VIP Tasters in the 4th grade class at the Philip H. Sheridan School recently sampled new dishes including a Sweet & Sour Chicken Rice Bowl, Cuban Picadillo and Tex Thai Chili.  The Division hopes to increase this program throughout the District in an effort to increase the menu variety of our satellite school meal program.