New to the 2013-14 school year, cafeteria managers are using the Nutrikids, a software program to order groceries and keep inventory. The Alliance Consultation Team brought forward major concerns regarding the time allotted to input data daily and the system not being pre-loaded or updated properly. For example, high school seniors who graduated last year were still carried on the rosters entered into the system. This resulted in inaccurate student counts which resulted in major food waste.
Hilda Cantu, Food Service Manager at Sam Houston HS, described in detail the process of using the system. Managers had to enter stock numbers for every grocery item because the stock numbers had not been pre-loaded. They have to enter how much of every item is used on the menu or in a recipe, i.e. how much flour, etc. This has to be done for breakfast, for lunch, for snack (at ES), and for the supper program. The process is very time consuming which is causing managers to fall behind on their other work. Managers are overwhelmed and very frustrated. Some managers have also reported lack of support from their supervisors. “Our students can sense the frustration among the food service personnel and should not be witnessing this,” said Ms. Cantu. “Our mission is to feed the children to help them learn.”
Sally Cody, Food & Child Nutrition Director, said that all managers were given a step-by-step user’s manual and were offered a chance to come by the Food Service office during the workday for instruction. Some managers have said they have not had time to go by for the instruction due to the amount of work at their school. Ms. Cody also said she is working with managers over the phone. She has also given managers the option, for the time being, to do a manual inventory.
On October 1st, Food Service supervisors will begin training on the production portion of the program.
The Alliance Team will continue to speak out about the concerns and will work with the administration to find solutions. If you have questions, call the Alliance Office at 225-7174.