Food for Thought — and School Board Action

June 17, 2008

by Rochelle Davis, HSC Founding Executive Director

I couldn’t have said it better. 

The June 08 issue of American Schools, the monthly publication of the American School Board Association, focuses on school food.  One of the articles, “Children’s Nutrition is a Governance Issue”  is written by David Tokofsky, a former teacher,  Los Angeles Unified School board member and board member of  the California School Boards Association. The article encourages school board members to give serious attention to their district’s school food program because of the important role that nutrition can play in a child’s performance at school. 

He points out that schools seem to acknowledge the importance of breakfast, as many school districts offer breakfast on test days.   He asks his readers, “What about non-test days when the children are expected to learn the information for the test?”  (This reminds me of HSC wellness director Jean Saunders’ blog on test-day snacks.)

He also makes the point that a board’s key responsibility is as custodian of public money.  This fiduciary responsibility requires school board members to understand the school food budget and review the operations of the school’s food program with thoroughness and care. 

I was especially pleased that Mr. Tokofsky recognized the importance of school food staff.  He suggests that a well-paid and well-trained staff is an important element to a successful school food program.

“It is not surprising when well-trained employees with a sense of ownership about their work actually reduce costs,” he writes. 

Thank you, Mr. Tokofsky, for providing such good food for thought.