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Lunch program creates dining experience
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Busy families often don’t have the opportunity to sit down and eat a meal together, which inspired North Crawford’s Food Service Director, Kay Teague, to provide kids with that experience.

On Friday, Jan. 31, North Crawford Elementary School students sat down in the cafeteria to participate in a family-style meal, provided by Kay Teague and her lunch staff. Each of the students lined up to punch in their lunch numbers to receive milk and then sat down to genuine place settings of diningware to be served their lunch. The idea of this meal was to give elementary students the experience of a family meal and provide them the opportunity to practice their table manners. Students with sack lunches were encouraged to join in by placing their lunch items on the diningware, as well. 

The idea of providing the elementary students with a family style dinner came to Kay last school year. She wondered if kids in this area have many opportunities to dine out with a family style meal, so she wanted to provide kids with that experience. When the 2013-2014 school year arrived, she was determined to follow through with her idea. It took a great amount of time, preparation, and research.

“I had to search online to make sure it met food service guidelines,” she said, and according to her research, it was perfectly okay as long as the lunch requirements were met.

Not only did this family style meal benefit the students, but it also addresses one of the goals of North Crawford’s, US Department of Education Carol M. White, Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant Project.  That goal focused on “highlighting local foods and engaging students, staff, parents/caregivers in eating experiences that create ‘good feelings around good foods’.” The PEP Grant Project and everyone working on it have been working with students to increase physical activity and healthy eating habits.

Students and teachers all had a great time at the wonderful dining experience provided by the North Crawford’s food service staff. When the elementary students were asked what they thought of the meal, the word “fancy’ came up multiple times. The students loved the meal.

“It should be a school holiday,” one boy exclaimed.

When some of the high school helpers were asked about their opinion on the meal, the main response was that they wished they could have done something similar to this when they were in elementary school. 

This family-style meal went very well, and Kay predicts that it will be featured again for special occasion meals!

Lsyianne Peacock is a Senior at North Crawford High School.