FAME honors school nutrition’s brightest

Lauren Teng from Huntington Beach Union School District in California takes top prize.

The 29th annual Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards winners have been announced, with Lauren Teng, administrator of food and nutrition service for Huntington Beach Union School District in California, receiving the Golden Director of the Year Award.

In her 34 years as director, Teng has taken many steps to modernize the program, particularly in the face of declining enrollment. She has done this by changing the way food has traditionally been served to students. For instance, she convinced district administration to move the lunch period to midday from later in the day and introduced mobile carts to reach areas where students congregate. Teng also opened the first on-campus coffee house and increased fresh produce consumption by 150 percent by promoting classroom nutrition, and partnered with school and culinary classes to ensure nutrition was a part of the core school curriculum.

Teng also secured a $175,000 grant to modernize equipment, including the purchase of a food truck.

The other FAME winners are:

  • Silver Leadership Award: Chris Burkhardt, executive director, food and child nutrition services, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Silver Spirit Award: Karen Halford, assistant director, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, Ga.
  • Silver Special Achievement Award: Kelly Schlein, nutrition services director, Richmond County School District, Augusta, Ga.
  • Silver Friend of Child Nutrition: Beth Mincemoyer Egan, senior instructor, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Silver Special Achievement: Sally Spero, child nutrition director, Lakeside Union School District, California

The winners will be honored at the School Nutrition Association’s School Nutrition Industry Conference in January in New Orleans. The program is sponsored by Basic American Foods, Schwan’s Food Service Inc. and Tyson Foods.

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