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Putnam Schools Add A New Field Nutrition Supervisor

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Schools Add A New Field Nutrition Supervisor

Putnam County Schools have added a new School Nutrition Field Supervisor to oversee a handful of the district’s kitchens.

Jessica Grissom will ensure the school kitchens and the meals they serve meet state and federal guidelines. Nutrition Program Supervisor Jennifer Mitchell said the school nutrition program is self-sustaining and does not receive funding from the district. She said the state reimburses the programs, as long as they are in compliance with those guidelines.

“We receive reimbursements for every meal that we serve, and so if the meals do not meet federal or state guidelines, they can come and take those reimbursements back,” Mitchell said. “So, we need to make sure that we are serving the appropriate meals.”

The program monitors 18 different kitchens throughout the school district. Mitchell said having the position filled is more important than ever because there has been a staff shortage since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“She’s learning a lot,” Mitchell said. “Due to staffing shortages, she’s been working in the kitchens, so she’s getting good experience there.”

Mitchell said the position became available when a former staffer decided to take a step back. She said the district began a search right away for someone with experience in cooking and serving food, and experience in school nutrition was a bonus. She said school nutrition is a very unique field that can take some time to understand and get used to.

“It helps us as hopefully things stabilize hopefully with the labor market,” Mitchell said. “It will be a very good thing so that we can stay in compliance and just continue to improve.”

Each kitchen has a manager present full-time. Grissom’s role will be broader, overseeing those kitchens and the management within.


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