Nutrition Ink | Spring 2021

Page 1

Volume 30 | Number 1















NANCY KOHL President @TNGMadPres


None of us will ever forget 2020 and the storm that blew into our lives. The storm of COVID 19. The storm that changed our lives as we knew them. The storm that shook each of us to our core, and like many businesses and corporations, threatened to uproot and blow us over. But I am proud to say a year later, TNG stood strong through the storm because of the strength and the depth of our core business roots and relationships, and most importantly because of the level of passion and dedication of our Front-Line Staff and Food Service Directors. We will be FOREVER grateful to all of those who stood shoulder to shoulder feeding our kids during unimaginable circumstances. They truly were, and will continue to be, essential workers. We will also be FOREVER grateful for the support our teams received from all our clients and customers. We saw everyone from superintendents to board members, to parents to teachers volunteering their time to assist with and distribute meals. A true reminder that we can get through anything when we work together for a common goal. You will see real life examples of this as you read though this edition of our newsletter. I personally give thanks for the opportunity that COVID 19 and COVID quarantine gave each of us to focus on “our roots”, both professionally and personally. It was indeed our core business roots that allowed TNG to stand strong, and grow! From the onset, we were committed as an organization to be aware of EVERY lesson we learned during this season, and we resolved very early on to allow these lessons to help redefine us moving forward to an even better organization.

Annually, we set a company-wide theme for the year and encourage our employees to read the book from which that theme originated. This year, we focus on The Power of Positive Leadership.

On behalf of the entire leadership of TNG, we want to say a heart-felt thank you to each of you. Thank you for allowing us to be your trusted food service vendor and advisor. Thank you for your tremendous support and understanding through this unimaginable time. It will continue to be our absolute pleasure to serve you in bigger and better ways in the upcoming years. We proudly take this opportunity to showcase the outstanding accomplishments of the past year and plans for a very bright future.

The Nutrition Group | 580 Wendel Road, Suite 100, Irwin, PA 15642 | | 1.888.272.8106

Spring 2021


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DELIVERING PROMISES Considering all that administrators were faced with, we continued to be a resource for solutions and provided healthy, nutritious meals for students.


LESSONS LEARNED In the face of adversity, our people showed their adaptability and resilience.

VIRTUAL TRAINING Leveraging technology to ensure quality food and our continued commitment to health and safety.




FUTURE PLANNING Re-imagined programs and new concepts coming soon!


TNG GETS SOCIAL Find out what’s happening in a cafeteria near you!



Highlighting daily happenings and fun experiences in our schools.

Hourly staff shows their smiles behind their masks through caring acts.




In mid-March 2020, school lunch suddenly looked very different than ever before. Unpredictable circumstances meant hourly and management staff needed to put aside “school lunch” as they knew it and focus on strategic planning and creative problem-solving. Because many administrators opted for multiple learning environments, we needed to determine the best solution by district, and in most cases, by building. Knowing that plans could change with less than 24-hours’ notice, we prepared with a plan of action for multiple scenarios based on what our districts needed. Considering all that administrators were faced with, we resolved to be a resource for solutions and continue to provide healthy, nutritious meals for students. Within 48 hours, we were providing to-go meals as well as developing plans for whatever serving method needed across more than 241 districts. The hourly and management staff at each district, in cooperation with our management and leadership teams, achieved amazing success.

Purchasing Challenges Availability and sustainable pricing of the necessary food and supplies needed for alternative serving methods became a top priority, but nationwide demand for takeout containers, single serve and individually wrapped items, personal protective equipment, and disinfectant supplies was at its highest level. Our strong bond of trust and support with vendors meant our Purchasing Team could reach out at any time to vendors to keep pace with constantly changing needs in a volatile market. Our Purchasing Team also maintained constant contact with our Chefs, Dietitians and Leadership



Homeville Elementary School West Mifflin, PA

Team, ensuring a balanced variety of meals and clear lines of communication. As a result, we have grown stronger as individuals and as a company. We appreciate more and have learned to adapt, overcome and are more resilient than ever!

Bellwood Antis School District

In the first 3 months of the pandemic, The Nutrition Group served

in across

Using social media to communicate the availability of free meals



“In the face of adversity, our people showed their adaptability and resilience.” 6



IN THE KITCHEN 2.0 Lessons We Learned in the Kitchen 2.0 is a collection of articles designed to share insight, inspiration and success strategies for the future leaders and innovators of The Nutrition Group Food Service Program. All articles have been written by our Food Service Directors, Regional Managers, Vice Presidents, Managing Director and President with the hope that the lessons learned by their experience will help current and future family members of The Nutrition Group. Both Volume 1 and 2 of Lessons We Learned in The Kitchen 2.0 have been made possible by Mr. Ed Caswell, CEO. His wisdom and vision brought this wonderful company to life. He created opportunities for all to enjoy fulfilling careers with The Nutrition Group through his commitment and leadership.



virtual training videos To maintain consistent quality in every school, training is crucial. As Chefs, their goal is to be consistent, no matter the serving model. Videos fill the void of not having a presence. Now hourly staff can easily access the training they need to be successful.

! W O N H C T A e W Scan this cod with your smartphone’s camera.

corporate events Resiliency and flexibility prevailed last summer during our annual event, Summer Seminar. While on a virtual platform, our theme was “Focus on the Roots” and featured members of our Leadership Team interviewing selected Food Service Directors who shared their experiences from the unique and unprecedented end to the 19-20 school year. We’re ramping up for our 2021 Summer Seminar on July 28, 2021 - also on virtual platform! 8


adapting in a

world Many things have changed during the past year, including how we communicate with our team, train our food service staff, and market our offerings to students, teachers, administrators, and even parents. Leveraging technology helped us get to work and develop new and innovative resources to ensure food quality while maintaining our continued commitment to health and safety.

social media In this digital space, our way to communicate to parents and administrators has relied heavily on several social media platforms. THENUTRITIONGROUP.BIZ


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Scan this code with your smartphone’s camera to learn how to make a healthy and nutritious fruit smoothie right in your own home!

Continued love, support, and engagement is crucial now more than ever. Many of our Nutrition Education programs have not been able to be produced in person this past year, but that didn’t stop us from adapting several of our programs into a digital presence!

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Learn about the importance of Vitamin D and Calcium-rich milk for strong bones and teeth. Watch Molly the Cow and our very own Chef Myra make a delicious and nutritious treat that you can make at home!



While the past

year has been


the creativity, responsibility and resiliency of our staff has been inspirational. Their diligent efforts are vital in contributing to a successful program and creating a lasting, positive impact for students. Our service model quickly adapted to grabn-go meals, curbside pick-up, weekend meals, holiday meals, pick-up bagged meals for hybrid learner’s next-day meals, meals delivered at bus stops during virtual learning, meals delivered to homes. These changes were made at a moment’s notice, all while keeping costs down and quality up. We’ve learned of staff members that have personally delivered meals to students and families that experienced challenges picking up meals from school, and handmade cards that staff created to accompany takehome meals. We’ve witnessed their “all-in, whatever-it-takes” effort to be flexible when schools must close on short notice, or when a hybrid model requires them to package meals for distant and virtual learners while they continue to prepare and serve meals to the students that are at school that day.

#WeAreTNG 12


Warren County School District Cafeteria Staff As their shirts declared to the world- “Never Underestimate a Lunch Lady who Survived the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020”.

Jim Thorpe Fun Special visitors were in the district to help pass out curbside meals, including Santa at Christmas, and a masked turkey at Thanksgiving! They also did an ala carte Fun Kit for the kiddos which incorporated some food arts and crafts and a Nutrition Ed learning lesson. Celebration packages for students missing out on their birthday parties were also promoted.


Summerfield Schools in Michigan Dedicated Employees Dana and Mindie volunteered to come in during their Christmas break to pack and distribute over 500 meals for Summerfield students. Their dedication and compassion for their students does not go unnoticed. They are so appreciated by TNG and the Summerfield community!

Williamsburg Community Bus Stop Delivery This district is small but mighty. Meals were packed and delivered at the students’ bus stops at their lunch time during virtual learning.






We’re always looking to improve your experience, so share with us what we’re doing right and if anything is on your mind! Keep an eye out next week for our Client Engagment Survey!

Continued Commitment to Health & Safety Signage

TNG 888.272.8106 | |

Client Engagement Survey



Printable signage to be posted in all TNG cafeterias to promote and remind everyone what we’re continuing to do for everyone’s health & safety.

Quick Marketing Reference Guide MARKETING FLYER PDF that can be posted in public areas, or sent directly to Principles, Superintendents, & Treasurers/Business Managers.



Download on 365 here >>

We want to hear from you! We’re always looking to improve your experience, so share with us what we’re doing right and if anything is on your mind! Psst... be honest! Here’s your opportunity to influence positive changes so we can continue to improve and provide quality, nutritious meal service you can count on. Keep an eye out in your email for our Client Engagement Survey, or scan here to submit your responses!

TNG 888.272.8106 | |

MARKETING EMAILS JPGs can be inserted in a new email message. For the “Start Now” and “Reminder email message graphics, be sure to link to the survey. Simply right-click on the image in the body of the email, select “Hyperlink” and copy this to the address field: z2JJ5BfYGERSsQ-5NFi6Or1s_-RytUQVVQUzQxS0hUUFpYT0VTTUhZTE4zSlJIVS4u&sharetoken=4tUfYw5y56AVDblkDRU9

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TNG 888.272.8106 | |

Client Surveys Staying in constant contact with our clients to ensure satisfaction in every step of our business across students, faculty, and administration.



Digital Marketing Materials Created to help virtual students learn about meals being served.





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Planning FUTURE

TNG is always looking ahead and planning exciting new things for the future. Our Innovation Committee re-imagined some of our existing programs and created many new concepts. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming your way!

Bulk Meal Kits “Fresh to Go” is a concept meal kits for virtual learners or take-home meals.







SOCIAL MEDIA We are excited to share all of the great happenings in our school cafeterias! Sneak a peek here and view various events, delectable foods, and fun memories that we create for students! Each district has its very own social media accounts on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Want to see more? Follow The Nutrition Group on social media for the latest events in your schools!




Sometimes your lunch ladies just need to take a meditation break in the freezer during a break in lunches!

Okaloosa School District and TNG are committed to celebrating our employees and providing nutritional options to all of our customers!






MASTERY CHARTERS SCHOOL On March 8th TNG staff were thrilled to welcome 6th grade students to Mastery Charter High School Pickett Campus!





We had a B L A S T celebrating National School Breakfast Week this week!

Wilmington Area Students enjoyed an Easter Feast of Baked Ham with a roll, Scalloped Potatoes, Baked Cinnamon Apples, Sweet Corn, and a variety of Holiday Cookies!

Happy Fri-YAY! Back to school! Mini pumpkins! Breakfast and lunch to go backs!



PANTHER VALLEY Beautiful taco salads at PV Jr/Sr High School!



HESPERIA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS Mrs. Blair’s kindergarten class made our kitchen crew a beautiful book with pictures of their favorite lunches.



WEST BRANCH November means it’s time to vote ... for your favorite foods!





Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, glazed carrots and fresh blueberries are what’s for lunch today at Niles Middle School!

Proud to say that our Jr./Sr. High School kitchen staff is 100% vaccinated!! #TNGCares

What better way to recognize Earth Day than with themed donuts! #tngfeedskids #donutparty #earthday2021



VALLEY GROVE Earth Day fun! #tngfeedskids #earthday #april22nd

We’re grateful for our continued partnerships with our current clients and are pleased to partner with the following districts:

• Floyd County Schools, VA • Foxfire Schools, OH • Bentworth SD, PA • Montrose SD, PA • Kane Area SD, PA • Streetsboro City Schools, OH • Galeton SD, PA • Sebring Local SD, OH • Norwalk City SD, OH




Vaccine Clinic

Streetsboro High School The Streetsboro High School cafeteria staff was ready and waiting with breakfast sandwiches, omelets, fresh fruit, coffee and juice during a vaccination clinic hosted by the district in February. Lunch was offered grab-n-go style with a variety of fresh salads, wraps, fruits and vegetables, beverages, and cookies.



sharing fun finds across our schools! Tidioute Community Charter School kicked off World Smile Day – Friday, October 1 – with a bang! The staff were all smiles, all day long while serving up delicious offerings in the cafeteria. What better way to make the students smile than pizza and smile fries!

S N O I T A T S Y R STIR F Charleroi and West Allegheny School were just a few districts that decided to “stir” up some delicious fun, much to the delight of the students!

Food Service Recognition


from Wayne Highlands School District Honesdale High School’s TV Productions, lead by teacher Shawn Garing, created a video tribute recognizing the food service staff’s hard work and dedication.

Scan this code with your smartphone’s camera. THENUTRITIONGROUP.BIZ


We’re Hiring! Several Different Positions! The heart of our company, our success and our future is in the hands of our people. We’re seeking individuals that demonstrate the spirit, dedication, creativity and passion to ensure that our service exceeds our clients’ expectations every day. Learn more about many different opportunities with us and join our team today! Apply online now at The Nutrition Group is an equal opportunity employer. At TNG, we are committed to treating all applicants fairly based on their abilities, achievements, and experience without regard to race, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other classification protected by law.

TNG 888.272.8106 | |

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