Food Services Program
THE WALLINGFORD BOARD OF EDUCATION PARTICIPATES IN THE HEALTHY FOODS CERTIFICATION PROGRAM ( HFC )
Meet our School Nutrition Director
Jim Bondi is the new School Nutrition Director at the Wallingford Public Schools! Jim has been directing PreK-12 school lunch programs for the past 25 years in Connecticut. He has attended both The New England Culinary Institute, and Johnson and Wales College, and has a business degree from Albertus Magnus College. In addition to schools, Jim has worked in food service management in colleges, nursing homes, hospitals, and business and industry. He is also a certified Food Safety Management Instructor and Exam Proctor, and teaches food safety to school districts, restaurants, and institutions throughout the State.
Feel free to contact Jim with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 203-294-5928
Meet our School Cafeteria Managers!
|Moses Y. Beach||Ann Pulisz|
|E. C. Stevens||Marcia Naimoli|
|Cook Hill||Kathy Petite|
|Parker Farms||Patti Avenia|
|Rock Hill||Fran Drescher|
|Mary G. Fritz||Ane Miller|
|Pond Hill||Maria Delmonaco|
|Dag Hammarskjold||Debbie Brauch|
|James H. Moran||Heather Fiorillo|
|Lyman Hall||Mary Pavlinko|
|Mark. T. Sheehan||Lenny Hilado|
The mission of the Wallingford School Lunch Program is to provide our students with appealing, nutritious, and great tasting meals that meet all of the USDA and State of Connecticut school breakfast and lunch requirements. The school lunch program is also an integral part of the Wallingford Schools Wellness Policy.
The Goal of the School Food Service operations is to meet all of our program financial obligations without having to rely on funding from the Board of Education. The department relies on revenues from meal sales, State and Federal meal reimbursements, and à la carte sales, with the goal of having the operations break even at the end of the school year. Our operations also need to meet all Federal requirements of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, which also regulates some financial aspects of school foodservice operations. Needless to say, that this is a daunting task. With that in mind, our goal for this school year is to increase student participation and meals sales by providing a variety of meal choices each day, and introducing new meals throughout the school year.
The Wallingford Food Service Department has been ahead of all the healthy-eating trends for many years. For example, in the early 90’s we revamped our cooking methods to reduce the fat and sodium content in recipes and even offered tasty vegetarian choices. We purchased fresh fruit from local orchards long before it became a fad. We eliminated whole milk offerings in 1998 because we recognized that low-fat milk delivered the same nutrients but with much less fat. This practice continues to this day, as all of our menus meet or exceed the USDA requirements for sodium, fat, and calories in school breakfast and lunch meals.
The health of the students and the safe handling of food products has always been a chief priority of the district. Since 1994, employees hired by the department are required to successfully pass a food safety and sanitation course and a nationally recognized test. Through our Point of Sale (POS) system in use since 2002, our parents are able to request a record of what their children have been purchasing. In 2007 we added the online component, MealpayPlus, so parents can access their children’s meal account through the Internet and add funds as needed without having to send cash to school with students. The POS allows parents to control what their children purchase by putting money in a “meal only” account or the “general” account. This process allows the parent, not the school board, to control their child’s cafeteria purchases.
To ensure that all the employees of the school district know what is expected of them, the district has had a Wellness Policy and an Allergy Plan in place since 2006. Codifying nutrition into these robust guidelines means that the district has an accurate and comprehensive health and nutrition message.
The Food Service Department also engages in classroom and cafeteria nutrition education whenever possible in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle.In the past we have initiated a program to get 4th graders and their parents to be more active. For 3 years, the department distributed a book called “Happy Feet, Healthy Food”. This journal-style book was given to the students to document their physical activities and snacks consumed for a year. It provided the student and the parents with various healthy snack ideas and activities they could do as a family. The Physical Education and classroom teachers incorporated the book into their curriculum.
In 2007, the department sponsored a five month long “Walk Around the World to Get Fit” activity. The purpose was to get students active during the winter months. Students recorded the number of steps they took using pedometers that we provided. The cafeteria served low fat versions of popular food items from countries we “visited” around the globe. At the end of the event we had a big giveaway of sports equipment for students at the school posting the most number of steps.
Two schools in the district participated in the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program from 2006-2008. During that time students at the schools received fresh fruits or vegetables as a snack. In an effort to educate the students, nutritional information was sent out to the schools in conjunction with the fruit or vegetable being served. Every year we promote National School Lunch Week with activities for the students at various schools. Last year Stevens school sponsored all the activities. Students in grade 1 and 2 made Food Guide Pyramid hats. Students in grade 3 decorated school lunch trays with healthy meals. Students in grade 4 created a beautiful mural for the school hallway.
A few years ago students in grade 5 created posters for the walls of their school. The students also participated in an obstacle course event followed by a healthy fruit snack and water provided by the cafeteria. This was followed by an assembly in the gym with guests from the USDA, State Dept of Education, Sheehan High School and Yale University. Mascots from the New Britain Rock Cats and the Bridgeport Storm also attended the event.
Throughout the years the department has either participated in and/or coordinated many nutritional events in the district. The “Healthy Recipe” contest, “A World of Nutrition” poster contest”, several hands-on culinary events at the Wallingford library, and a Wallingford Schools Health Fair featuring exhibits on milk, and the food guide pyramid, are all examples of past events.
We are currently in the process of re-evaluating and upgrading our catering offerings.
In the meantime, please contact Jim Bondi in the Food Service office at 203-294-5928 or by email at email@example.com to discuss any catering needs. We will do all we can to provide you with items for your event, and will provide a quote for you to review beforehand.