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Wrong Connie Fatseas?

Connie Fatseas

Food Service Director

Reynoldsburg City Schools

HQ Phone: (614) 501-1020

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Reynoldsburg City Schools

7244 E Main St

Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

United States

Company Description

The Reynoldsburg City School District delivers an innovative, high-quality and cost-effective education to all students. Schools provide hands-on learning experiences in highly personalized environments. Academic programs focus on growing sectors like sci ... more

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Background Information

Employment History

Director of Food Services

Grandview Heights City Schoolss

Web References (5 Total References)

Food Services [cached]

Connie Fatseas Director of Food Services

Bringing Kids to the Table [cached]

Reynoldsburg City Schools Food Service Director Connie Fatseas knew, however, that the indulgence of soda with lunch was costing the district and students more than just pocket change.

Fatseas understood that the USDA prohibits schools offering carbonated beverages with lunch to claim meals for federal reimbursement.
Fatseas implemented an innovative solution to this dilemma: she renegotiated the district's beverage contract so that Reynoldsburg City Schools could begin claiming meal reimbursement.Instead of breaking ties with Pepsi, she renegotiated the contract to replace the carbonated drinks with the company's water and juice products.

Grandview Heights City Schools [cached]

Connie Fatseas, Director of Food Services

Food allergies in schools on the rise - Columbus Messenger [cached]

During the past 10 years, Reynoldsburg City Schools has seen an increase as well in the number of students with reported food allergies and special dietary needs, Food Service Director Connie Fatseas said.

Peanut is the most common food students are allergic to in the district, Fatseas said, but the district also has students with fruit allergies such as strawberries and peaches, allergies to eggs and multiple allergies such as soy, milk and cheese.
In Reynoldsburg, Fatseas relies on the nurse and cafeteria workers in each school building to know the special needs of their students.

Connie Fatseas, food service ... [cached]

Connie Fatseas, food service director at Reynoldsburg City Schools, oversees 41 cooks who prepare lunch for 7,000 students and works with a cooperative food purchasing group.

"This next school year is going to be a scary time because prices are going up," Fatseas said."A food cooperative is getting the best bang for commodity dollars."
Fatseas advised the first step is to choose the top 25 items and rotate them every month, which is something most districts already do.By having rotated items and knowing about how many students are partaking, those figures can be used to determine how much of something to purchase, such as Smuckers Uncrustables - the secondary entree choice at Reynoldsburg.
Each February, food service directors receive the amount of funds it will receive from the next school year from the U.S. Deaprtment of Agriculture.Those commodity funds can be diverted to purchase different items, such as chicken can be sent to Tyson for chicken nuggets, probably the top school lunch at each school, or peanut butter commodities can be sent to Smuckers to make Uncrustables.
Although brand name products are typically more expensive, using commodities and purchasing through a cooperative lowers the price, Fatseas said.For example, a case of cheese-filled bread sticks may cost $55 but through the cooperative $36, she said.The process also eliminates the amount of raw meat entering the district and consequently, items are more ready-to-go, which cuts down on staff preparation time and saves money.
"I don't like raw foods coming into my building because it's too scary," Fatseas said, explaining when they prepared Thanksgiving dinner by scratch, turkeys were in and out of the refrigerator four times before being cooked.
The cooperative also can ensure the cafeteria is getting foods students will eat and not automatically receiving items they can't move because students aren't receptive, Fatseas said.
"I can spend all of my commodity dollars and then some and get more of what I want and get rid of things that don't go so well with my kids," she said.
However, nothing is perfect, she said.
"If there is a downside, sometimes when I order if my distribution center is out of green beans, for example, then I have to turn my sheet over and order them from (Government Food Services)," she said, adding that means the cost then increases for those items.
Although being part of a cooperative often costs an annual fee and per case delivery charges, there are savings through bulk purchasing and Fatseas cited hundreds of dollars in rebate checks from companies for serving their foods.

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