A new grant will help The Department of Public Instruction streamline the way food service workers serve students in cafeterias. This grant from The United States Department of Agriculture is funding food and nutrition training for food service workers across the state

Deb Egeland, the Assistant Director of DPI Child Nutrition and food distribution said when managing cafeterias across the state there is a meal pattern that workers must be familiar with.

“We have 1,300 cooks across the state. We’re hoping that 650 at least would sign up for this training,” Egeland said.

The grant will allow eight hours of training for front line workers and 40 for food service directors and managers. The department has hired help from a former food service director, who has years of experience in the business.

“She will be working with us developing the classes and some of the logistics about where we will have them,” Egeland said.

The USDA has invested $778,000 to finance the training for not only North Dakota, but also Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Virginia, and Washington.

“We are a minimum funded state for running our office. If we want to do extensive training, then we count on getting extra money,” Egeland said.

The training also provides incentives for workers who finish it.

“We can give $500 to the director manager and $100 to the front-line staff who complete the training,” Egeland said.

Production and finances, like bidding and serving portions, are some key components discussed in the training.

“We’d like for them to feel confident at their job, so they are not likely to quit,” Egeland said.

The training also includes assistance for Tribal schools. Egeland also says she hopes that this training will help prevent any food going to waste, especially with the cost of food on the rise.