Buckingham cafeterias show improvement

Published 11:47 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

Buckingham’s school cafeterias have noticed slight improvements since it was last reported that the cafeteria budgets had been steadily shrinking.

“Our reports for this month indicate that we made some actual fiscal gains this past month in our cafeteria funds,” said Division Superintendent Dr. Cecil Snead.

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In late July, The Herald reported that school leaders in Buckingham were seeking measures to create a more self-sufficient cafeteria program within the division. Snead then said the cafeterias had been losing money and said the fiscal year’s cafeteria budget was $51,000 less than the previous year.

“Our cafeteria study supported by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) will begin in January. We are hoping that the results from the study will suggest tangible improvements,” Snead said.

In the meantime, Snead said secondary schools continue to make Domino’s Smart Pizza a lunchroom option.

According to Domino’s, smart pizza is designed to meet USDA meal regulations and offers reduced fat and sodium, 100 percent real mozzarella cheese and whole-grain dough.

Domino’s Smart Pizza serves as a catalyst for increasing excitement in lunchroom programs, according to the business.

Snead previously said he believed one of the main issues with the cafeteria was that student participation in the school lunch program decreases as age increases. In light of this, money from the federal government is allocated for the cafeteria budget based on students eating the food.

Brenda Hackett, Buckingham’s cafeteria supervisor, said the Domino’s pizza is offered every other week at the middle and high schools.

She said finding viable food options to get students interested is a challenge because the food must comply with certain federal standards.

“We have to make sure it is calorie, salt and fat compliant,” Hackett said.

She said the school cafeteria program is currently exploring more snack products the students will be interested in buying.