Big Walnut High School recently opened a Café in a space adjacent to the lunchroom that’s open for breakfast and lunch.
The Café is a place where students can purchase foods and drinks that are sugar-free and meet all USDA compliance rules for a healthy school diet.
The Big Walnut High School Café is significant for another reason. The Café features a custom-crafted beverage bar created by students in Alan Frank’s Shop Class, with assistance from Betty Kimbell’s students. Math teacher Ben Steele was involved, as well as Tyler Slagle at Handcrafting Ohio; and Mark Inscho was the project electrician.
The Café is open from 7:15 a.m. until 7:40 a.m. to allow students arriving at the high school to get a healthy grab-and-go breakfast; and reopens for lunch and remains open until 12:30 p.m.
“The students have been using it a lot,” said Linda Klamfoth, Administrative Assistant, Food Service, Administrative Services. “It encourages more students to start their day with breakfast, and all menu items and beverages are USDA Smart Snack compliant – all eight-ounce drinks are 40 calories or less, all 12-ounce drinks are 60 calories or less, and they’re all sugar-free.”
In addition to healthy beverages, Klamfoth said all food items provide healthy alternatives and a broad array of choices to fit different tastes, including yogurt, oatmeal, bagels, and fresh fruit.
District Director of Administrative Services Ron McClure said the best thing about the high school’s new Café and custom crafted beverage bar is it was built without taxpayer money.
“All Ohio school district’s food services are self-supporting, and the high school’s new Café was built completely without funds from the state,” McClure said. “The cost of materials came out of food service funds, and the students helped build it, which is cool.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.