New school year brings pay raises for CCISD child nutrition staff, menu changes
Special to the Leader-Press
A new school year is in full swing, as the cafeterias on all 11 Copperas Cove ISD campuses are buzzing, once again, with hundreds of students each day.
The CCISD Department of Child Nutrition is implementing changes to not only keep in line with evolving USDA regulations, but to improve each student’s experience in its cafeterias.
The largest of those changes may go unnoticed by most students, but go a long way in shaping a successful school year.
New employees in CCISD Child Nutrition will start at $12.85 per hour, with no experience.
And, the district is hiring.
“We are looking for people who are driven and want to see a positive change with the students in our district,” CCISD Director of Child Nutrition Melissa Bryan said. “We are looking to maintain a group who share our vision of pride, leadership, maintaining a culture of caring and being invested in health.”
Bryan said the district has 4- hour positions, 7.5 hour positions and managers work 8-hour shifts.
"We do have some set times but we try to have the staff work hours to fit the needs of the campus meal service. It is a great job with great hours for any parents who wish to have same Holidays and same days off as their children," Bryan added.
Prospective new Child Nutrition staff can apply directly to the district online at https://www.applitrack.com/copperas/onlineapp/.
One change new employees will be working with are new meal guidelines from the USDA involving milk, whole grains and sodium.
Sodium will the most noticeable of the three, as Child Nutrition Programs are now required to cut weekly sodium intake by 30% between July 1st of this year and the end of the 2025-26 school year.
These transitional guidelines also restrict flavored milk in a school cafeteria. Bryan and her department are now only allowed to offer flavored milk when it is skim or fat-free.
“Finding items from manufacturers that meet the new sodium guidelines and still taste great to be enjoyable for our students is very hard,” Bryan said. “We routinely have taste tests and bring in items to try to create recipes to meet our goal.”
Those new standards are available at squaremeals.org. But, these changes also come with a reminder from Bryan and her staff.
Applications for free and reduced-priced meals are open for all on the CCISD website and, although approval is subject to USDA guidelines, it takes less than five minutes to complete and can be filled out online on the CCISD website’s Child Nutrition department page.
Approvals from the 2022-23 school year expire after 30 school days this year, which is Sept. 28th.