InspirED Michigan: Boyne Falls Public School Food Service Program
Q&A: Promoting student health through serving fresh and local food in the cafeteria
Cindy Pineda is the superintendent and K-12 administrator for Boyne Falls Public School and Nate Bates is the chef at Boyne Falls. Together, they work to serve fresh and local ingredients through their food service program for breakfasts and lunches.
What’s the process of choosing what to serve the students?
Cindy: The process mostly falls on Chef Nate, who is a classically trained chef. He focuses on nutritional values when he sets the breakfast and lunch menu. Over the course of several years, he has developed relationships with local farms and he started using these fresh, local ingredients in the food that he serves. He tries to tailor the menu to what is seasonal. A good example of this is in the fall, there is an abundance of apples and a place less than a mile away is where we get them. Nate tries to rely on what the farmers are bringing to him.
Nate: I try to focus on serving students a variety day-to-day, but then also try to focus on making protein the center of the plate. I enjoy purchasing fresh ingredients from local farmers and that’s what I am used to doing, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch for me.