Adding Cooks to the Kitchen
by Liz Robinson
Posted June 18, 2012
“Sitting down and having a complete meal with friends is an important part of each student’s day,” notes Head of School Barry Hughes. “We want all HTS students to have the most enjoyable and enriching eating program possible.”
With the idea of continual growth and student participation in mind, Mr. Hughes established the school’s first Food Committee in the spring of 2011. Composed of kitchen manager Philip Goodman, 14 students – two each from Grades 5 through 11 – and Mr. Hughes himself, the Food Committee met last year and will meet again throughout the course of the next year to discuss new ideas to further improve the overall dining experience for students, faculty and staff at HTS.
“We have an excellent, award-winning food program that we are very proud of,” says Mr. Hughes, referring to the numerous Eat Smart! Awards of Excellence Mr. Goodman and his staff have won in recognition of the school’s balanced and nutritious meals. “We also have many creative students who are eager to have some input into their daily lunch menus. It will be interesting to see what thoughts they continue to bring to the table.”
Giving students the chance to contribute their ideas and opinions on issues that affect them directly was the main reason the Food Committee was established. “In the student survey of 2010, it was evident that they wanted to have more of a voice when it came to menu selection,” Mr. Hughes explains. “Thus the Food Committee was born.”
The 14 student volunteers were chosen by their Division Heads to sit on the committee. The students act as representatives - bringing ideas, questions and suggestions from their peers to each meeting. “I think it’s great for us to have the opportunity to make suggestions and actually see changes happen,” says Grade 8 student Paul C.
The Food Committee focuses on three main areas: diversifying the menu, improving the overall dining experience and reducing food waste. Students have the opportunity to provide Mr. Goodman with feedback on existing menus at HTS and to propose new ideas for lunches. “We have always tried to consider what the students want while creating our meal plans. Having the chance to actually sit with them and hear their opinions first-hand is exciting,” says Mr. Goodman.
Although Mr. Hughes has established some guidelines and identified points of discussion, he notes that this initiative is student-driven and most of the direction will come from them directly. “We have a bright group of students, and I can’t wait to see what ideas they cook up next fall!”