You probably already know that food is about much more than just nourishing our bodies. Yes, our primary goal is always to provide the students within our school districts with the nutrients they need to grow, learn and excel at everything they encounter during the day.

But you also know a good meal serves other purposes! It can bring people together, add to a celebration and provide comfort. In the November/December issue of School Nutrition magazine, now available to read online, we’re taking a look at ways foodservice programs at school districts across the country have launched catering programs to provide nourishing, tasty, celebratory, mood-boosting, incentivizing refreshments at events—not only for students, but adults, too. Plus, in many cases, these catering programs are helping these operators generate extra funds, too!

In this month’s issue, you’ll find:

  • The Café Caters. In the past, the nutrition services team within Lee’s Summit R7 (Mo.) School District might have handled coffee and a platter of breakfast pastries for staff meetings, but ever since a new director stepped into her role 14 years ago, bringing school-based catering experience with her, those offerings have grown and expanded into a district-wide program that handles food for a variety of events. Learn the whys and the hows, along with what you need to know if you want to follow this district’s lead.
  • Best. Birthday. Ever. Gone are the days where it’s easy, appropriate or (in many cases) even allowed for parents to just drop off cupcakes at their child’s school, but that doesn’t mean birthday celebrations in the classroom are no longer a thing, thanks to the ingenuity and forward thinking of many nutrition services professionals who have taken new approaches to making the big day special for students within their district. Here’s how those teams have found ways to offer what some kids might say is the best. birthday. ever.
  • Beyond the Party Platter. Starting a school catering program isn’t always easy, but it does offer many great rewards, from marketing opportunities to extra revenue. We talked with four nutrition services directors from schools across the country to hear exactly how they’re running their programs and what advice they would offer to other schools who wanted to get in on the action.
  • Warm up to Chilis, Soups and Stews. Is there any better example of how food can provide comfort than a hearty bowl of goodness on a cold day? This month, as the weather is getting cooler for most of us across the country, we’re exploring all the ways you can use chilis, soups and stews—as well as variations like bisques and chowders—to create nutrient-dense meals that are sure to be popular with students.

Read the November/December 2022 issue of School Nutrition today!

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