The Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise stopped by Taher’s kitchen in Blair Community Schools and saw the immediate change that took place from the formerly self-operating cafeteria.
From the Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise:
“Blair Community Schools’ food service provider is cooking up international cuisine, convenience options and locally-sourced produce in an effort to engage students in its meal program.
Crispy chicken salads and wraps, as well as turkey BLT and chef salads, are now on the menu, and, back by popular demand, strawberry milk.
“The chef salad in this district is very popular across the board, from the little kiddos to the adults,” Food Service Director Yvette Steffen told the school board Aug. 14.
Taher staff served up Asian food and other selections for board members prior to their meeting. They also carted in samples of its popular grab-and-go salads, wraps and salads offered at Otte Blair Middle School and Blair High School.
The district operated its own lunch program until 2013-14, when it started contracting with Taher for food services.
“”I think it’s done a lot of good things for our district,” Supt. Rex Pfeil said.
Chef Rodney Barth, who has been employed with Taher for 15 years, said he drives 90 minutes each way to work at BCS “because I love it so much.”
Pfeil said that “Chef Rodney” “connects well” with students and staff.
Steffen and Barth updated the board on successful additions to Taher’s services last year and new options introduced this school year.
Taher started a farm-to-school program last year. A farm in Mondamin, Iowa, provided apples, and will add watermelon this year. Taher continues to seek other options for local food sources.
A made-to-order breakfast omelette station debuted to students and staff at OBMS last week to rave reviews.
High school students were introduced to spring rolls and sushi last school year.
“They loved it,” Steffen said.”