Health. Wellness. Nutrition. HACCP. For many months, these watchwords have dominated headlines…and education sessions…and legislative hearings…and school board meetings…and the focus of school nutrition professionals at all levels. But if employees don’t pay equal attention to financial management, there may be no operation around to offer safe, nutritious meals as part of a healthy school environment.
For example, a school nutrition director in the Mideast estimates that 60% of the school meal programs in her state are operating in the red. Not long ago, a major-city district in another state made headlines when it abruptly ended a contract with a management company that promised to eliminate the school nutrition operation’s multi-million-dollar debt, but doubled it, instead. And with a 2007 SNA survey finding some 60% of directors identifying difficulties in finding low-cost products that meet the nutrition standards set by the new local school wellness policies…well, it’s clear that financial management needs to become a priority—and fast, if it’s not already in the eyes of all the professionals in your school nutrition program.
If you are a newcomer to fiscal management, the articles in this issue of School Nutrition can help. The topic of financial responsibility can be intimidating but actually involves a lot of common sense. Face your fiscal fears by reading “Are You Nutrition Wise, but Financial Foolish?”
Next, “Cents & Sensibility” emphasizes the important roles that foodservice managers and employees—not only the directors—play in the monetary health of the operation. “The Kindest Cut” drives home that message further, with specific suggestions for cutting food costs and working more efficiently. Finally, you will find a glossary of terms in “Say What?!” that you can keep as a reference as you seek other financial training opportunities. When it comes to financial management, SN can help you to stay right on the money.
Are You Nutrition Wise, but Financial Foolish?
Would you bet your bottom dollar on the fiscal health of your school nutrition program?
Cents & Sensibility
Discover why financial management is important to foodservice employees and managers-and how you can do your part.
The Kindest Cut
Consider ways you can slice and dice your food cost.
Use this vocabulary guide to master "accounting speak."