This article is a guest post written by Jodi Resnick (Director of Food Services) and Ann Marie Tidona (Director of Finance).
The food service at Friends Academy features the highest quality meats and cheeses. Milk is hormone-free, and fruits and vegetables are all fresh and locally sourced when possible. Protein, grains, and vegetarian options are provided daily, and the food service director works closely with families of students with allergies. Additionally, gluten-free options are available daily. The program underwent a rigorous review two years ago, and the current service provider was selected through a lengthy process which included a team of administrators, field trips, and a competitive bid process. As a result of that process, we can be assured the quality is present and the costs are well in line with industry standards.
Trays were eliminated for 2014-15 in order to accommodate the lower school family dining and not to limit the quantity of food available to students. It was the hope that this change would reduce the amount of food waste as students would no longer be forced to fill their trays in case they were still hungry as in the past students could only go through the food line once. Currently, students can return for seconds as often as
they like. In fact, we as a community are consuming considerably more food per person than we have in the past and at an average higher than in other independent schools (of which there are many) that Flik serves.
The food lines have been and remain a concern given the number of students who arrive at the same time. The wait time is typically 5 minutes or less. A third deli line and additional panini makers were implemented on October 1st, and these changes have significantly reduced the lines.
At the request of the coaches, pasta (including gluten-free) is available to students on a more frequent basis and is never served plain unless requested. There are always choices of sauces for the pasta.
The school has employed health and wellness initiatives such as eliminating pizza and cookies every day. Instead, fresh fruit, both whole and cut up, are provided daily.