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Taste-Testing Is Serious Stuff With Millions In Lunch Money At Stake
Students and adults at Benold Middle School in Georgetown spent Wednesday morning taste-testing items that might show up on the school lunch menu next year.
It was a fun event, but with a serious side. Georgetown schools want to provide their students nutritious meals with minimal waste. Karen Kovach, director of nutrition services with Georgetown ISD says, "It's critical that we offer the food that the student will eat because, if they won't eat, nutrition won't matter."
Kovach oversees Georgetown ISDs $5 million school nutrition budget. And there are lots of guidelines to follow to make sure the feds reimburse Georgetown the maximum amount of dollars as well as "commodities" -- foodstuffs they can use to prepare more meals.
Food vendors know school budgets are tight so they stress savings that can be made in other areas. Tom Rykalsky, with Pro Brands says, "It might be a little more expensive for that one item. But because of the savings in labor and the savings in waste it makes up for it."
With so much lunch money at stake, there's lots to consider before any item makes it to next year's menu. But it doesn't hurt to have the seal of approval of the people who will have to eat it.
By Fred Cantu