A year of changes

New food regulations come into effect for the 2014-15 school year

Smiling new faces weren’t the only things that students noticed once they stepped into the newly renovated school on August 1.  The building greeted the students with freshly coated walls, polished flooring, innovative technology, new schedules, and…new food policies?

Last year, circulating rumors about the demise of our beloved vending machines were finally put to rest by Wayne Township Food Service director Sara Gasiorowski. However, the contents inside of the vending machines were to change in order meet with the USDA’s “Smart Snack” standards.

The whole reason behind the national “Smart Snacks” movement is to ensure that schools provide healthier sustenance for students while eliminating the amount of junk food they intake. These policies are all a part of the national standards released by the 2010 Hunger Free Kids Act, campaigned by first lady Michelle Obama. The new guidelines were to affect not only the vending machines but, the lunch menus as well.

So what exact changes were made to Wayne Township’s food service?

The new guidelines give Wayne Township the opportunity to serve free breakfast to schools K-9 , including BDU. Currently, Ben Davis is the only school in Wayne Township exempt from the Universal Free breakfast program. However, The Child Nutrition Department hopes to make Ben Davis students eligible for breakfast after fall break.

What exactly happened to the menus following the new regulations?

“Beginning on July 1st, the new Smart Snack regulations took effect,”  Gasiorowski said, “These  regulations require that all foods sold on the school campus during the school day must comply with the requirements for calories, sodium, sugar and fats.

“This includes ala carte during breakfast and lunch, as well as any food items sold through the school stores, fundraisers held on the school campus during the day, and the vending machines,” she said.


What is the fate of the vending machines this year?

“The Child Nutrition Department does not operate any of the vending, but vending machines will be required to comply with the new regulations,” Gasiorowski said.

Students may now notice that vending machine choices are now limited to low calorie snacks. Snickers, gummy worms, and hot Cheetos are now faint memories of the past locked away in the machines that are turned “off” during school hours. The machines that are turned “on” during lunch hours, offer baked chip selections and crackers. Vending machines full of beverages will remain the same as the previous years.

Le Gallery was also not exempt from the new guidelines.

Culinary Arts instructor Nicholas Mayes discussed the upcoming changes that he and his staff will have to undergo to meet up with the new USDA regulations.

“The change to the USDA guidelines is having an impact on how students will be eating throughout the school day,” Mayes said.

“We anticipate that the changes will occur in Le Gallery, we do not know what changes those will be yet. We operate a little differently than your traditional student cafeteria and vending machine services because we are a class as well,” he said.

“We will be taking sometime this year to study how the new guidelines will be affecting CTE culinary programs.”

Le Gallery students hope to open up their restaurant doors by September.

All of the possibilities that this new school year holds is still uncertain, but what is for sure is that this year will be like no other.

The question now is, “How well will the student body respond to these changes”?