By Tamas Mondovics

District Hosts 7th Annual Fresh Flavors Student Food Tasting Expo

The Hillsborough County Public Schools Student Nutrition Services Department hosted its 7th annual Fresh Flavors – Food for Body and Mind Expo earlier this month at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre in Tampa.

Approximately 200 students from around the district had a chance to taste and rate new menu items for the 2016-2017 school year menu.  

“We had every grade level represented by the students who were ready to test the various potential future menu items,” said Tanya Arja with the district communications office. “Twenty-one new menu items were tested, including Gyro Flatbread Sandwich, Funfetti Quinoa Salad, and a Chicken & Pesto Piada.”  

During the event, students were to rate each item on a scale of Love It, Like It, or Dislike It based on the item’s appearance, smell, and taste.

“The purpose of the tasting is to help Student Nutrition Services provide healthy menus that are based on student preferences,” Arja said.  

This year a group of parents were also invited to be taste testers and participate in a question and answer session about school meal initiatives with Student Nutrition Services General Manager Dr. Mary Kate Harrison.

At the end each student received a goodie bag and had a chance to win a Fitbit fitness tracker.

Student Nutrition Services operates as a self-supporting, $125 million dollar enterprise. Each day, close to 1,400 employees serve more than 214,000 meals to students.

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Cannella Elementary School Receives Weather Radio Donation

Appropriate for the start of the 2016 atlantic hurricane season, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) received a large donation weather radios from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the Office of Emergency Management. To be exact, 270 weather radios were delivered to Cannella Elementary School located at 10707 Nixon Rd. in Tampa.

School Principal Rhonda McMahon, along with some of her fourth grade students, accepted the donation on behalf of Hillsborough County Public Schools just in time for the start of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.

Pleased with the support, district officials said that the donation will ensure that staff at every school in the district has the ability to hear vital, life-saving information from the National Weather Service and to take action if necessary.

“The safety of our students is our top priority and we are grateful for this donation from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and Office of Emergency Management,” stated HCPS External Communications Manager, Tanya Arja, in a recent press release announcing the donation.

There are more than 212,000 students in Hillsborough County Public Schools and more than 26,000 employees. The donation of the all-hazards alert weather radios will be a vital component to ensure the safety of students and staff. The hurricane season started June 1.

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