Kentucky School Advocate
By Matt McCarty
Erlanger-Elsmere Independent Schools is in its second year with the Cook for America program.
“It’s a slow process, but it’s looking up,” the district’s food services manager, Jan Kushniroff, said.
The district just hired a chef, which Kushniroff said will help move the program forward.
Jaime Love of Interact for Health, which funds the program locally, said it takes three to four years for schools to take the lessons from the Cook for America program and get them fully integrated into the schools.
Kushniroff said that time frame is “right on target” and her district is about where she expected it to be at this point.
“I expect to be able to advance forward with this new employee on staff who can be right there in the kitchen working with them,” she said. “I think the biggest fear to people is just trying to get all of the ingredients together, make sure they’ve measured correctly. Where when everything comes in a package all you have to do is worry about heating it up.”
Kushniroff said one factor that has slowed down the process is not all of her staff has attended the Cook for America culinary boot camp. Only 10 of the district’s more than 30 food service staff members attended the boot camp in 2014 and three attended it this past summer in Dayton.
“I think it’s a wonderful program, I just wish we could send more people each year,” she said. “It would be nice to eventually have all of our staff experience the Cook for America program because I think it’s very beneficial. It opens their eyes to things they never thought about before.”