Talking to Your School Foodservice Director


Talking to Your School Foodservice Director

February 5, 2001 -  Have you ever wondered what your child eats for lunch? Has school lunch changed since you were a kid?  Has your child come home from school upset about something that happened at lunchtime, whether the cafeteria ran out of a selection or they didn’t have time to eat their lunch?

Often parents don’t know who they can talk to about these questions.  Well, your school’s foodservice director is always there and willing to help resolve or clarify issues concerning the school lunch program and policies.  They encourage parents to be involved and be proactive when dealing with the school meals program and their child’s nutritional well being.  In fact, federal regulations recommend parent and student involvement in their school's cafeteria. 

The following tips can make your meeting with your school’s foodservice director more productive and effective for you both:

  • Remember, you and your foodservice director both want your child to have a wholesome, well-balanced meal that he or she will enjoy and eat.

  • Make sure you have all the facts. You may want to talk to other children or parents first.

  • Visit your school cafeteria to make your own observations.  It's fun to have lunch at school with your children.  But be sure to check with the principal to make sure this is an accepted practice in your community.

  • Make an appointment. This way you’ll get right in and the Director will have the time to sit and discuss the matter fully.

  • Try to present your concerns in a positive manner. Everybody has a tendency to get defensive when they feel they are being accused of doing something, especially when it has to do with their professional responsibilities.

  • Write down your questions. They tend to be more objective, and you won’t forget to ask anything

  • Being a parent is a full-time job even if you have another career, so approach the meeting as a professional talking to a professional. Your school foodservice director is a trained professional in business, nutrition and/or foodservice.

  • Why wait to get to know your school’s foodservice director?  It’s always nice when a parent calls to acknowledge the good things happening with their child’s school meals.

  • It’s also important to note that the school foodservice manager is the person responsible for your child’s cafeteria.  They serve in partnership with the school foodservice department and the school and act as a link between you and the director.  In fact you may want to contact them first as they maybe able to answer your questions and/or give you the name and number of the director.


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