TCU explores food service management


Lunches at Tri-City United Schools may soon be prepared under the direction professional chefs.
The TCU school board is moving forward with requesting proposals from food service companies to prepare lunches at TCU. One of the companies the district has spoken with is Taher Professional Food Service Management of Minnetonka.
At a work session on Monday, April 22, Superintendent Matt Helgerson and board members Deb Struckman and Jody Baker who are on the TCU Wellness Committee updated the board on Taher’s service.
Helgerson told the board the company provides K-12 school lunch management to clients in 10 states. He said it is made up of a team of chefs who monitor and train school cooks. 
“The Taher chef comes out regularly to get the (school) cooks on board, then after that the chefs come out monthly,” he said. “Menus are planned out monthly and there is always a salad bar and fresh fruit, even for the kindergardners.”
Struckman said the company not only introduces new foods to students, but educates them too on the foods they eat. 
Baker said the company also has nutritionists on staff, as well as samples of the food they serve the kids. She added the lunches would have no limits on fruits and vegetables, and would be available for students in all grades. 
From a business and personnel position, Helgerson said if the district chose to hire the firm, it would accept all kitchen staff at their wages and positions. He said the Taher’s chefs would train TCU staff on how to prepare the lunches and work on the menus.
Robin Pikal, who also serves on the committee agreed that the company offers a lot of food choices for the students. 
“It seems like the (Taher) staff works collaboratively with the (TCU) staff,” she said. “I was very impressed with them.”
Belle Plaine and Le Sueur Henderson school districts both use Taher and are happy with them, Helgeson reported.
Struckman said she was very impressed and encouraged Helgerson to move forward with finalizing the request for proposals.

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