WHS Food Services
Mrs. Teresa Sousa took over the district’s Food Services program in 2008. Since that time she has made many exciting changes in the High School cafeteria’s selection of meals, snacks and beverages, as well as developed staff to better prepare healthy food options.
Schools are bound by federal regulations established by the US Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program. According to their regulations, a whole meal comprises a meat or alternative, milk, fruit and/ or vegetable; and bread or grain based product. WHS students choose what they want to eat, cafeteria-style. If they select three to five of these elements, it is considered a “whole” meal and the foodservice department is reimbursed a portion of the cost by the government. Otherwise, the purchase is considered a la carte, and may not provide the nutritional requirements for lunch.
WHS students, especially those involved in after school activities, are a hungry bunch. Since 2008, the cafeteria has been offering a snack service 2:50-3:30pm, and many students eat three times a day.
Weston Nutrition Service is pleased to provide some locally produced foods including Stonyfield Farms Organic Yogurt, whole grain pasta and breads, and Garelick milk- produced without growth hormones or high fructose corn syrup. Land’s Sake is a contributor to the High School’s pantry, providing tomatoes, field greens, peppers, leeks, kale, turnip greens, butternut squash, carrots and parsnips. The seasons provide variety and opportunities for changing recipes. Our most recent contributor is Red’s Best Seafood.
The snacks provided by the High School have also become healthier. In accordance with the Institute of Medicines Standard for Foods in Schools and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 –, as well as Mrs. Sousa’s own nutrition philosophy, all snacks and drinks have lower sodium, fat and sugar content.
Of course, using healthier foods has a financial cost, both in terms of higher unit prices and labor. The extra labor is required for scratch food preparation. Highly processed foods are quicker to prepare but fresh, local foods developed into scratch cooked recipes are loaded with nutrients, lower in fats and sodium and thereby healthier. For SY 19/20 the Nutrition Service Department, which is required to be financially responsible, raised meal prices 50 cents. This will enable us to continue to be financially successful and provide the best service.
The staff has undergone some changes, with current staff moving into new positions. This ability to promote from within is due to a high level of training as well as many staff members prizing longevity in their Weston careers. Cafeteria personnel also serve a day-to-day educational function by encouraging students to select whole meals and make healthy selections.
The Nutrition Service staff has also been trained to recognize and manage allergens. Parents can log onto the mySchoolBucks website and make their lunch payments, see menus and review their children’s purchases with nutrition data. High School Manager Wendy Howard updates ingredient lists daily at the serving lines.
We believe that our food program provides nutritious choices that exceed governmental guidelines. We hope your students have enjoyed the improved quality and expanded options. As Mrs. Sousa noted, “Weston students are the reason we take pride in what we do.”
Visit the cafeteria some day soon!
Nutrition Services Director
Weston High School Cafeteria
444 Wellesley Street, Weston, MA 02493