November 2007


Perception v. Reality
November 2007

The image of school foodservice personnel certainly has changed with time. For years, they have been labeled as “lunch ladies”, an American slang term for women who serve lunch in a school or other institutional cafeteria. Since the 1960s, lunch ladies sometimes have been characterized—and caricatured—by the jobs they perform, how they look and what they wear. However, their roles and responsibilities have changed, and the public likely would be surprised—and impressed—by the complexities they handle daily.

It’s time to make the public do a “double take” about school foodservice, and SN magazine is here to help. Ready to brush up on your marketing skills? Take the quiz in “Is Your Perception My Reality?” and discover your personal score, as well as steps you can take to improve public relations.

Next, explore three aspects of the modern school nutrition program: the look of the cafeteria, the food and the professionals. “This Is the Cafeteria…” highlights child nutrition operations that have updated their dining rooms with new designs, themes, names and more. “Your Best-Kept Secret” showcases the taste, appearance and nutrition of the latest K-12 foods, from cutting-edge commodities to whole grains. “Professionals Standing” emphasizes education and training for today’s school nutrition professionals, as well as career possibilities. Consider implementing the practices featured in these stories—or clip and share the articles with parents, teachers and others who might need an update about the quality of K-12 school foodservice.

Now for the infamous question: “Are You a ‘Lunch Lady’?” That’s the title of School Nutrition’s feature article revealing special research about the term “lunch lady.” The School Nutrition Association surveyed nearly 500 members about the good, the bad and the ugly reactions to this common moniker. Also, participants who didn’t like the term share their ideas for alternatives!

This month’s issue of SN magazine truly explores the perceptions—and the realities—of school foodservice. Of course, one common misperception is that lunch is the only school meal of the day. National School Breakfast Week is right around the corner, and you can start preparing with help from “Fuel up for NSBW Fun.”

Don’t forget: The “Fuel Your Imagination” Creative Writing Contest for kids closes on December 31, 2007! Find more details about the contest and other new breakfast promotions in SN magazine.

November Cover align=

Is Your Perception My Reality? lock
What can you do to dispel negative stereotypes about school cafeterias, food and staff?

This IS the Cafeteria... lock
Cafeterias are going "commercial" in many schools, appealing to student savvy.

Your Best-Kept Secret lock
Why dont' more people realize that school meals are "just right" for today's kids?

Professionals Standing lock
It's time to take issue with mean-spirited jokes or comments that dismiss your hard-earned expertise.

Are You a "Lunch Lady"? lock
Some love this term; others despise it. Where do you stand?

Fuel up for NSBW Fun lock
Get ready to blast off for an amazing National School Breakfast Week-and get inspired by "worldly" ideas from last year's event.



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