School News: Try our chili

By Deb Henton, Ed.D.


Chances are you have heard good things about school lunches at North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS). Having most likely eaten a school lunch or two in your life, you may have been perplexed when you heard that the food we serve our students is excellent. School lunches don’t exactly have a reputation for being either tasty or nutritional.

At NBAPS, our lunches are both. We contract with Taher Food Services to provide our students with good food, and they take that responsibility very seriously.

I asked Taher’s Don Kivimaki to explain why our food is so good and everything came back to one word: scratch.

Most entrees are made from scratch in our school kitchens, not prepared from something out of a box. Salads are fresh, and every school has a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables for students to choose from. Sandwiches and wraps are made fresh daily, and even the bread itself is made from scratch. There are a variety of salads to choose from, as well as yogurt and fruit bowls.

Anyone who has ever attempted to think on an empty stomach appreciates what good food can mean for a child’s education. Our students are fortunate to have good healthy food to feed their bodies and minds. It works for staff too, many of whom wait in line for lunch right alongside the students.

If you would like to try some of Taher’s food, stop by the chili cook-off this weekend at Winter Fest. We will be located in the southwest corner of Central Park in North Branch with four gallons of Taher’s Healthy Chicken Chili. The school district won the healthiest chili contest in 2009, and this chili is sure to contend once again.

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