“Studies have shown that there is an integral link between nutrition, health, and learning,” Superintendent Dr. Lisa Hichens said. “Batavia Public Schools and Quest Food Management Services are committed to improving the health and well-being of our students by serving healthy school meals and helping our children learn about healthy food choices.”
The district’s search for a new food service vendor began during the last school year when, based on the success of a pilot breakfast program at Hoover-Wood School, district officials had a vision to provide a breakfast option for students at all of its schools by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
And while it was the BPS101 Board of Education that ultimately approved the new food service contract last May, Quest took a consumer-focused approach by seeking input from the students they hoped to serve.
“Our goal was to find out what they needed and wanted. Our conversations were honest and open,” said Michael McTaggart, president of Quest Food Management Services. “The students at Rotolo Middle School were candid about their expectations from their food service program. The students at Batavia High School were very specific about how they thought their food court should be.”
One of the recommendations from BHS students that Quest readily integrated into the high school meal program was to provide larger portion sizes than the traditional school meal, while still adhering to nutritional guidelines.
“We know that sometimes a ‘serving size’ is just not enough — especially for active, growing young adults,” McTaggart said. “To meet their needs, Quest will be offering various meal deals for an additional $1.50.”
Now that Quest has acquired the contract, McTaggart said the family-owned company plans to continue its collaborative approach by working with a student/staff food service committee to develop and implement a program that meets the needs of students.
During a tasting event at Batavia High School last week, Quest had the opportunity to introduce students to the new serving lines and concepts that were developed based on their comments and suggestions. The food tasting was also an opportunity for members of the the Quest management team to work alongside new and veteran food service employees.
“We are excited to add them as the newest members of our Quest family and are already impressed with the spirit and passion that exists in the Batavia school community,” McTaggart said.
Established in 1985, Quest is a family-owned and operated contract management company serving school districts in the Chicagoland area. Members of the Quest team serving Batavia Public Schools include Food Service Director Sue Walsh, Dietitian Krystle Ramos and District Manager Elena Hildreth.
The district’s Food Service web page provides additional information on Quest’s services and offerings.
SOURCE: Batavia School District 101