Colfax school district planning school lunch survey

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  How are you going to know if you don’t ask?

The Colfax Board of Education learned at their November 13 meeting the School District of Colfax is planning to survey students about their lunch preferences.

Normally the school board meets on the third Monday of the month, but the meeting was moved up a week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

[emember_protected] The survey is constructed but has not yet been implemented, said William C. Yingst Jr., school district administrator.

“My philosophy on it is I want to ask the kids what they like, but maybe more importantly, what they don’t like. We’ve got around 34 different meals that we rotate,” he said.

The food service staff already know what the top five or 10 meals are, Yingst noted.

“I want the kids’ input. We’re going to start with grades 7 through 12, and it’s going to be a simple ranking from one to whatever, with one being their favorite and the bottom being their least favorite. We’re looking for trends and patterns,” Yingst said.

“We still bake our own bread here and do a lot of good things. There is more pre-prepared food, but we still do our best to make a real homestyle meal for as much as we can and still follow all of the constraints. We are not interested in not following the federal constraints,” he said.

Even though federal lunch requirements set certain parameters on school lunches, Yingst said he believes there is room to make positive changes within those requirements.

“Things have changed. Some of things that are considered whole grains, the kids don’t like. They won’t eat it. They throw it away. I think that’s a futile effort,” Yingst said.

“We’re taking time to prepare meals, we should make something the kids like (and will eat). That’s our goal in the end,” he said.

“We’re trying to get a little input. What adults like and think is good, kids don’t see it that way. We might like meat and potatoes and chicken and gravy over biscuits. There’s a lot of kids that like it, but kids eat differently than adults and have different tastes,” Yingst said.

The Colfax school district also offers breakfast to students, but a breakfast survey is not part of the effort to gather information.

“People can argue what they want to about (school breakfasts), but it’s pretty hard to ask a kid to be focused in class and really be on their reading and math when they haven’t eaten since the night before and they don’t eat until 11:30 or 12 o’clock. It’s a long time to go. A carton of milk doesn’t always cut it. We need to do a little more,” Yingst said.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Board of Education:

• Received notice of a school board election on April 3, 2018. The positions currently held by Ken Neuburg and Kyle Knutson will be on the ballot.

• Approved hiring Kari Sedivy as the middle school basketball coach.

• Learned that the Colfax High School student council and the American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive on Wednesday, December 6, in the Martin Anderson Gymnasium lobby. [/emember_protected]