Return to Headlines

TCSS Child Nutrition Program Receives National Recognition

TCSS Child Nutrition Program Named "Innovator of the Year"

January 30, 2019

 TCSS named in Food Management publication. Image shows photo of online article.

The Tuscaloosa County School System’s Child Nutrition Program has been named one of Food Management’s four 2019 Innovators of the Year. Food Management is a magazine focused on best practices, products and solutions for food service in four key segments: College & University, K-12, Healthcare, and Business & Industry. In their January/February 2019 edition, Food Management selected one organization from each segment as an Innovator of the Year. 

In the article announcing the selection of TCSS Child Nutrition Program as Innovator of the Year, Food Management writes, “This district never stops trying to find better ways to get food to kids and keep up with their changing preferences.”

TCSS Director of Child Nutrition Donette Worthy credits the hard work and caring, team spirit of the TCSS CNP staff for making this achievement possible.

In the article, Food Management highlights three initiatives of TCSS CNP:

Ever-changing menus and recipe development throughout the school year.

Chicky chicky bang bang and ribs developed by CNP staff.

Worthy says TCSS CNP uses student focus groups and taste-testing in the development of new recipes, which make their way intocafeterias throughout the year. For instance, the department has introduced new dishes Chicky Chicky Bang Bang (Mediterranean-style chicken), Berry Hot Chicken (sweet and spicy chicken), and BBQ ribs this school year

Nutrition Ignition mobile feeding unit.

Nutrition Ignition mobile feeding unit.

Nutrition Ignition is a repurposed school bus, now used to deliver meals to children during the Summer, and also during the school year in the afterschool hours. CNP plans to begin operating a second Nutrition Ignition bus this Summer

Breakfast carts.

TCSS CNP has begun serving breakfast on carts at some schools across the district. Worthy says since students don’t have to stay in the cafeteria to purchase and eat these transportable breakfast options, breakfast sales have increased. Worthy also says there tends to be a false perception that breakfast is only for students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The breakfast carts have resulted in more students enjoying breakfast together. 

Also named as Food Management Innovators of the Year for 2019:

College & University Innovator of the Year – Boston College

Healthcare Innovator of the Year – Morrison at the University of Miami Hospital

Business & Industry Innovator of the Year – Epic Systems


Soup, carrots, blueberries and pineapple served in a TCSS cafeteria. Students eating in a TCSS cafeteria.