Southampton Transforms Food Program

The Southampton Union Free School District has been providing gourmet-style meals to families by reimagining its food services program. Independent/Courtesy Southampton Union Free School District

The health crisis caused by COVID-19 has not prevented the Southampton School District from augmenting its food services program through several new initiatives that kicked off earlier in the school year.

“We are doing our best to continue to offer delicious meals to families and improve our services,” said Director of Food Services Regan Kiembock.

The Southampton Union Free School District has been providing gourmet-style meals to families by reimagining its food services program. Independent/Courtesy Southampton Union Free School District

In 2019, the district hired chef Tyler Guerin, who is with the Brigaid program, to train food service workers how to properly portion and prepare fresh foods, make meals from scratch, and organize storage to allow for more fresh items. Instead of halting the program due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the food services department transformed it to adapt to new needs.

“Chef Guerin continues to be a trainer for a new method of feeding,” Kiembock said.

Guerin, for example, has coordinated with food service workers to prepare daily gourmet-style meals for families. Along with sandwiches and breakfast items, the offerings include special items such as pasta with homemade Bolognese sauce and sides of homemade barbecue sauce. All food is available for pickup at the school through a drive-up window on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

The district also coordinated with Director of Transportation Samantha Saw to launch a delivery service for its prepared foods. The transportation department works with rotating volunteer staff to deliver the meals.

To help defray the cost of these food service programs, the district applied for and was awarded a No Kid Hungry grant in the amount of $44,784.

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