No corrections needed to school lunch program

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2007

St. James Parish School’s lunch program gets five-year review to determine if improvements were needed


Staff Reporter

LUTCHER- St. James Parish Schools has reported that there is no corrective action needed in the parish’s school child nutrition program.

The parish’s school nutrition program recently came up for its five-year state review after Hurricane Katrina put the review off for one year.

The Coordinated Review Effort (CRE) was conducted on February 12 and 22 to determine improvements and needs of the nutrition program.

Lydia White, director of the Child Nutrition Program, said that St. James Parish was the only school system out of 127 state programs that required no corrective action.

However, there were some slight discrepancies in the issuance of free and reduced lunch programs when two schools had a small number incorrectly processed applications, but were immediately corrected.

A School Meal Initiative study (SMI) was also conducted to determine the nutritional value of school lunches in the parish.

White said that the study examined a week’s worth of meals from the school menus to analyze calorie amount per age group, calcium levels, fat content and saturated fat content, portion sizes, and sodium and cholesterol levels.

The SMI concluded that portion sizes, calorie levels, nutritional content, vitamin content, sanitation procedures, and production records all met standard guidelines as issued by SMI.

The study did recommend that more whole grains be used in school meals and that USDA approved software for the Child Nutrition Program was not being used in the cafeteria.

All meals were found to be prepared according to standard recipe guidelines and the amount of bulk foods used was added appropriately to recipes. Nutrition labeling was also properly implemented.

White said she has a great staff of people who are all trained in school sites, and that the program could not be as successful without them.