The Pine Bush Central School District has been cooking up some good food and the numbers show. Meals have been served at record high rates so far this year.
Not only are more students eating school lunches these days, but more breakfasts are being served as well. The school’s food services department reports that 1,223 breakfasts were purchased this September, which is significantly more than the 841 breakfasts served in September 2018. An astounding 30 percent of Pine Bush students consume two meals at school every day. For some students, school meals are the only food they regularly eat.
The school’s food services department has instituted breakfast and lunch programs to ensure that no student goes hungry. Their school breakfast program includes before school breakfast, breakfast in the classroom and breakfast carts at the high school, Circleville Middle School and EJ Russell Elementary School. Breakfast items include delicious yogurt smoothies and parfaits as well as Brooklyn Bagels. In addition, there is breakfast after the bell at Circleville Middle School, Crispell Middle School and Pine Bush High School. Breakfast only costs $1.00 to those who pay in full and is free to eligible students.
The district is also changing its school lunches. In addition to a traditional lunch program, there is a food court style at the high school, which includes a fresh, made to order wrap station. Farm to school salad bars are featured in all schools within the district. New lunch items include hummus platters and General Tso’s chicken. Students are now able to taste test new items and feedback is collected. The nutrition department is also monitoring production and plate waste. Lunch is $2.00 at the elementary school level and $2.25 at the middle/high school levels. Once again students who are eligible can receive lunch for free.
Pine Bush also offers after school snack programs and summer meals to any student in need. Their programs have influenced students, as two seniors at Pine Bush High School are interning with the kitchen staff, learning how to be chefs. The middle schools now have a “Chipotle style” made to order wrap station. There is also a $3,500 breakfast grant for Circleville Middle School. The goal is to provide students with healthy food, which will help fuel them in the classroom.
“Our goal is to ensure that we serve healthy, well-balanced meals and that our customers enjoy what they eat,” read the Food Services Department page on the Pine Bush Schools website. “We recognize that meals need to be exciting and delicious, built with quality food and fresh ingredients designed to energize and satisfy students on-the-go.”
Students are not the only ones that benefit from Pine Bush School’s food services department. Senior citizens of the Pine Bush Central School District are also treated to a dinner.
Students and faculty members have raved about the high quality of the food at Pine Bush Schools. Tim Mains, superintendent of Pine Bush Schools, spoke highly about the food service department at the last board of education meeting.
“We have an outstanding food service program,” he said.