Back on the Rails: Increasing participation and engagement in Altoona, Wisconsin

Altoona chef set up

It’s difficult to get kids to eat healthily and try different foods. Parents know it. School nutritionists know it. District faculty and school board members know it.

Taher and the team solved that problem at Altoona, Wisconsin.

About one year ago, Taher, Inc. began partnering with Altoona School District to bring our exceptional foodservice expertise and chef-driven food approach to the students they serve.

So how did it happen?

In short, the team up has been amazing for everyone involved. Participation for lunch has increased by over 20% from the same time last year. The kids are eating better, more nutritious food that is inspired by our Chef Council trips.

The students and parents now have access to Kids in the Kitchen classes and new featured foods every month. Kids in the Kitchen courses teach valuable skills kids can use in their daily lives and in their careers if they pursue a future in cooking. Taher’s Harvest of the Month program gives adventurous eaters the chance to eat new and exciting foods like mangoes, arugula, and sage. This keeps the kids excited for new menu items and parents happy by introducing new fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices into their kids’ diet.

What about local food? It’s pretty easy when Taher sources from the school garden and local producers. Kids can say “I helped grow that.” It brings them closer to their food sources and makes them stakeholders in their school community.

Of the program changes implemented, the best has to be the increase in scratch cooking. Our customers can see that our food doesn’t come from a box. We take the time to cut veggies, build sandwiches, and make pizzas from scratch. You can tell the difference between freshly made salads and ones from a bag. The students can tell too.

All the photos, videos, and charts can show how much of a success it has been to have Altoona in the Taher family, but at the heart of is who we are and how Taher approaches our customers, guests, and friends. We succeed because we have the right team in place who is passionate and caring. We do better because we care for everyone that comes through our line.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this deep dive into Taher as a company. If you’d like to see what Taher can do for your school district, don’t hesitate to call us at 952-945-0505. Let’s grow together.