The Lunch Bunch: CSD’s Cafeteria Workers Go Great Lengths to Fuel Learning With Healthy, Mouth-Watering Food Choices

For some students, knowing what’s on the lunch menu might not be the most important part of the day. But for Canyons District’s Nutrition Services Department, it’s everything.

From taste tests to strict health requirements, locally sourcing ingredients and analyzing what’s a popular meal and what’s not, Canyons goes to great lengths to make sure students have healthy, delicious food choices every day at school.

This is the second year that all children have received school lunches and breakfasts at no cost, regardless of their family income, thanks to a waiver provided by the USDA — a massive operational challenge that CSD’s cafeteria workers have pulled off, despite pandemic-related safety challenges and supply-chain and labor shortages. Unfilled this year are 65 kitchen and cashier positions, reports Canyons Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas. In addition, the supply chain of food items, paper products, and cleaning supplies has slowed considerably.

But Canyons District’s lunch crews still manage to serve up smiles, and healthy schools, every day. In honor of #NationalSchoolLunchWeek, we invite you to tune into this mouth-watering episode of Connect Canyons where we take you behind the scenes of Canyons’ Nutrition Services Department. 

Episode 11: You Are What You Eat — So For Kids, It Better Taste Great

Here, also, are a few school-lunch facts.

  • Orange chicken, macaroni and cheese, and pizza are among the top menu choices of students in Canyons cafeterias.
  • CSD’s lunch workers served 2,386,475 lunches and 841,694 breakfasts in the past school year.
  • Participation in the lunch and breakfast programs have skyrocketed since it the USDA made it possible to provide meals for free. The average daily participation tally for lunches rose from 9,313 in 2020-2021 to 17,342 In 2021-2022. Some 3,615 students are eating breakfast at school, compared to 1,488 last year. Some 3,615 students are eating breakfast at school, compared to 1,488 last year.
Boy and Gil sitting at school lunch smiling towards the camera

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