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Expect changes in school food

Big changes in the Food Service offered by the Osakis Public Schools are coming following the acceptance of a contract between the Osakis School Board and A'viands based out of Roseville for the 2018-19 school year.

The board approved the contract at the 6:30 a.m. special meeting held on Wednesday, June 27.

Superintendent Randy Bergquist told the board requests for proposals for the food program were sent out to 20 companies, and of those, two made presentations to the food committee: A'viands and Taher.

"The quality was equal," Bergquist said, but the A'viands program was $30,000 cheaper. In addition, A'viands guaranteed a $40,000 to $50,000 year-end balance, compared to Taher's guarantee of $15,000.

Bergquist told the board, "We will keep all the school employees who currently work here, and that's a big plus."

The person who will oversee the Osakis program is a certified chef, and will assist Judy Thornbloom with the paperwork. All of the staff will also undergo training.

Board members asked that A'viands set up a booth and offer food samples for the Back to School Open House in August, and have staff on hand to answer questions about food and prices.

The A'viands program will offer programs for elementary, middle school and secondary students.

Newton's Eat-in Adventure for elementary school will offer a multi-concept marketing program with appealing and nutritionally sound choices for elementary students. These students will have three entree choices each day, as well as a la carte items.

Fuel Zone Cafe, the middle school program, will include a food court-style atmosphere, with a minimum of five entree choices each day. Again, a la carte items will be offered.

Connections Cafe for grades 9-12 will create a food court atmosphere. There will be a Second Chance Breakfast at the high school that starts later in the day. High school students will have a minimum of 10 entree choices on a daily basis, along with a la carte items.

School Board members noted that A'viands offers both a fruit and veggie bar, and a nutrition bar for the end of the school, as well as after-school options.

A'viands offers a catering service for after school which could be used for banquets and district events.

Price proposal from A'viands totaled $330,312.66 for the year, including breakfast, lunch, a la carte, milk and after school snacks.

A'viands also offers the Nutrislice program, which can be downloaded onto a smartphone.

"If your child has a food allergy, you can go on there and you have choices," one board member offered.

In other business, the School Board:

• Approved a request for a one year leave of absence for Carmen Silbernick;

• Tabled discussion on renewal of the Student and Interscholastic Athlete Accident Insurance to the August meeting, after a committee has been able to meet with the insurance representative.