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Grant finances statewide training for North Dakota school food service workers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing a grant to finance statewide training for North Dakota school food service workers and managers. The grant will finance at least eight hours of training for 650 school service workers and at least 40 hours of training for food service directors and managers. Deb Egeland is North Dakota’s assistant director of school nutrition.

The thing is, we have this meal pattern that is kind of complicated. It's hard for the cooks because there are so many mixed fractions, things like that are really hard so, we are trying to make it really easy to understand. We will also talk a lot about inventory and purchasing because food costs have gone up so much that they really need do be watching how much they prepare so that they don't have too much.

The training is meant to refresh workers on food regulations after the covid pandemic.

We've had waivers over the last couple of years while the meals were all free for everyone, that we didn't have to write them up for meal infractions, like if they didn't serve all whole grains or they missed a veggie subgroup, We could just give technical assistance and not have to take money back. But, starting next year we'll be back to normal that's why it'll be really important to drill down on the meal pattern that they know all the regulations and how to know what foods fit in.

Workers who finish the training within six months will be eligible for an $100 payment, while managers who complete their training will qualify for a $500 payment.