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School System Gets Ahead Of Food Loss With Vendor Help

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
School System Gets Ahead Of Food Loss With Vendor Help

White County Schools Nutrition Director Tonya Savage said the system prevented food loss during the extended school closure by watching the weather.

Most students returned to school Thursday after missing more than a week due to snow and cold. Savage said when the system saw the weather coming, they canceled their orders.

“We do like most everybody else,” Savage said. “We watch the weather and try to make guesses like other people do about what we need to do, as far as prepping early, but this year because it started getting bad on Sunday and Monday we were able to contact our food vendors,” Savage said.

Savage said even during unexpected breaks, the only food that needs to be thrown away is produce and some fruits. She said a lot of the food served are in the freezer.

“A lot of our stuff is frozen things or canned things, like frozen broccoli florets and things, we have it in the freezer anyway,” Savage said. “We’re going to serve it in three weeks the next time. So, it’s not too bad. Sometimes we might have a little bit of produce we have an issue with.”

Savage said even if they were not able to cancel the delivery someone would have gone to the school to make sure the food was stored properly.

“We do a really good job,” Savage said. “The ladies go in on snow days and work and take care of the food, so we don’t lose it.”

Savage said where the eight snow days cost the cafeteria money was there were no students there to serve.

“When students do not buy lunches or eat lunches, then I do not get a reimbursement from the federal government,” Savage said. “I only get money from the government when I sell meals. That’s why it’s important that as many students can eat with the school so we can get money back to help pay for our program. If we don’t sell meals we don’t get money.”

Savage said her biggest concern regarding the weather is losing power.

“Well, I’m always worried with the weather that a a freezer or cooler might go down,” Savage said. “We do have monitoring systems on that, that will alert me when they get out of temp. Mostly it’s just us being aware.”


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