Stephanie Escoto of the CCSD School Nutrition team at Dean Rusk Middle School holds a tray featuring a Halal beef patty, a new menu item now available upon request at all CCSD schools.
The Cherokee County School District’s School Nutrition program has added a Halal menu item.
CCSD School Nutrition continuously updates school menus to keep up with student preferences, and last semester tested a new item in response to a request from students’ parents.
The request was for schools to serve Halal beef patties, which are prepared in accordance with Muslim dietary restrictions, on the same day hamburgers are on the scheduled menu. CCSD School Nutrition sought out a certified vendor and then identified school locations for the pilot: Dean Rusk MS, Etowah HS, Indian Knoll ES, Little River ES, River Ridge HS. Parents within the Muslim community helped the schools spread the word among families.
The pilot proved successful, and the Halal beef patties now will be served upon request at all schools on days when hamburgers are on the scheduled menu. Students and parents are asked to contact their school’s cafeteria manager to request Halal beef patties be served. It will take about three weeks following the request for the supplier to process the order and stock the kitchen.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said this process is an excellent example of how CCSD staff work behind the scenes to improve all aspects of service to students.
“As our community’s diversity grows, there are more opportunities for us to learn about cultures and beliefs,” Dr. Hightower said. “I greatly appreciate School Nutrition Executive Director Tina Farmer and her team for understanding the importance of this responsiveness and for making this menu addition possible.”