NSLW: Five Resources to Help You Survive the Wild World of School Nutrition

cute jungle animals hanging out fox, sloth, koala, lion, tiger, monkey wild about school nutrition NSLW

National School Lunch Week (NSLW) has arrived once again! We send a hardy salute to all of the individuals who make school food service possible each day. Thank you for nourishing our students so they are ready to learn.

Though many schools have opened their doors and there’s a semblance of normalcy, it’s still a jungle out there and things are wilder than ever for school nutrition professionals. From supply chain challenges to staffing problems, there are certainly plenty of opportunities to get creative (my positive spin).

But we don’t want you wandering into the wilderness alone. To celebrate NSLW, we’ve rounded up a collection of our best resources for managing your school nutrition program through the current challenges.

In this post, we’ll share resources on the following:

  • How to work around supply chain issues
  • Tips for recruiting and streamlining processes
  • How the latest USDA waivers apply to your program
  • Creative uses for your commodities
  • How to overhaul food service – even during a pandemic

NSLW Field Guide: Resources for K‑12 Nutrition Professionals

We’re wild about school nutrition, so we’re arming you with the information you need to operate your program in jungle-like conditions. Here are five handy resources to use as your field guide during NSLW and beyond.

NSLW Resource #1: Working Around Supply Chain Issues

Times are moving fast and things change quickly. That’s why it’s so important that operators are prepared for the unexpected. But, how can you plan when you don’t know what’s around the corner? In this post, we explain how to work around supply chain issues and make the most of what you have on hand.


NSLW Resource #2: Tips for Recruiting and Streamlining Processes

If you’re currently facing staffing shortages, you’re not alone. Many Nutrition Directors are struggling to find people to fill critical roles in their programs. And it’s wreaking havoc on their food service. In this post, we share some unexpected tips for recruiting great people and streamlining your processes to make things easier on your current staff.


NSLW Resource #3: How the Latest USDA Waiver Applies to Your Program

The USDA recently announced a new waiver that further loosens the reigns on school nutrition programs because of supply chain and staffing issues. Hear from our Nutrition Training Manager on how this impacts your program.


NSLW Resource #4: Using Your Commodities Creatively

It’s a challenge to get creative with your school menus right now (even during NSLW!), especially when you might not know what items will be available. If you’re in need of some inspiration, our in-house Registered Dietician Taylor Nobles offers up some creative ways you can use your commodities to the fullest.


NSLW Resource #5: How to Overhaul Your Program – Even During a Pandemic

On our LINQ’D UP Podcast, we chatted with the Director of Child Nutrition Services and the Executive Chef of Seattle Public Schools. They explained how they practically overhauled their entire program. And they did so during the height of the pandemic. Listen in and be inspired!

Watch Now: The Questions, Trends, and Challenges of the Next School Year

In this webinar, you’ll hear from school nutrition professionals on how they are navigating supply chain issues and staffing shortages to ensure their students are fed.

Watch the Webinar