By Ely Schosek
When you hear “school lunches,” you probably don’t think much of it. But going into this school year, Springville-Griffith Institute have a new, revolutionized lunch program called SGI Culinary.
Laura Watson is the Director of Food Services for many local schools, including Springville Elementary, Colden Elementary, Springville Middle, Springville High and St. Aloysius.
SGI Culinary is centered in the schools and is led by Watson, who feels the two best words to describe the new system are: quality and variety.
Upon the students’ return to school last week they witnessed a number of new changes to the cafeterias and the menus. In order to enable students to broaden their horizons when it comes to other cuisines, International Tuesdays have been introduced.
Also new this year are Theme Days, intended to add an element of enjoyment to lunchtime. Western Day, Carnival Day and ‘80s Rock are meant to give students a chance to learn something new and get a free day.
Variety is clear in the new options presented to students in grades 6-12. Students now have the opportunity to take advantage of the new salad bar instead of the previous pre-packaged salads. New “flavor stations” give students the chance to try new herbs blends and condiments.
Pasta, baked potatoes and mac-and-cheese will also be served this year, but not in the traditional way. They will now be part of a new option that encompasses a variety of “bars” throughout the month. These “bars” will give students the chance to customize their own entrée.
In addition to these options, fresh-made pizza will be offered daily to students in middle and high school as an alternative option.
Monthly menus will be posted on springvillegi.org and social media.
Parents of elementary or middle school students can now purchase a treat for the entire class to celebrate their child’s birthday. SGI Culinary will make and deliver the treat to the child’s classroom as part of a birthday celebration.
At the high school, the Griffin’s Lair used to be just a place for seniors to spend their free periods, or at least that’s how everyone saw it. The Lair is now modified to include new breakfast options for all students and staff.
In the morning, a selection of Gevalia coffees, cappuccinos, hot chocolate and hot breakfast sandwiches are now available. Other options include “grab and go items,” such as muffins, yogurt and fresh fruit, along with daily specials.
Combo meals are offered at the regular breakfast price, with coffee items extra. All combos are available to students that are eligible for free meals, which is held in complete confidence.
Families are encouraged to fill out a free-and-reduced meal application so that their statues can be determined as all students who qualify for reduced meals will no longer have to pay anything for breakfast and lunch.
Middle school students are not excluded from these new breakfast options. They are also able to stop at the café in the morning for hot items or grab and go items.
Efforts are being made to increase the variety of fresh produce via the Farm-to-School Initiative as well as New York-based, locally sourced foods.
Overall, Watson says she is trying to keep things “fun, trendy, fresh, wholesome and healthy.”