Norris adopts Taher for Food Service Management: services begin 2014-15

Norris adopts Taher for Food Service Management: services begin 2014-15

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Norris Board of Education unanimously adopted Taher as its Food Service Management provider for 2014-15.  Taher Services feature a food court system that is focused on providing students “exactly what they want” in an efficient and affordable manner consistent with top-quality school cafeteria services.  Taher currently provides services for numerous other Eastern Midlands Conference schools.


Proposals to the district were received from three different FSM entities, including Taher, Sodexo and LunchTime Solutions.  The district developed its proposal request in consultation with the Nebraska Department of Education, and has focused its review of Food Service Management on a desire to increase student dining options in an affordable, appealing format.  “All of the proposals were competitive and the Board adopted Taher as the most comprehensive and the one that would engage students the most,” said Assistant Superintendent Brian Maschmann.  Taher’s District Manager Tom Johnson attended the Board meeting and noted that he anticipates student participation in the school lunch program to increase significantly under Taher’s expert guidance.


Commenting on the change, Student Council President Jacob Lambert said, "We are very excited for the upcoming incorporation of Taher into our school's food service program.  Like myself, many students are excited for the increased variety in main course options that will be offered and the more diverse choices for sides. I am excited to see all of the positive changes next year!"

According to Superintendent Dr. John Skretta, the shift will provide students with dramatically increased entree options at the secondary level and a program that emphasizes healthful, tasteful options from fresh-prepared ingredients.  He pointed out the Taher celebrated “Chef-Station” that features chef-prepped on-the-spot pasta and stir fry entrees that have proven popular in other districts.  He further noted that the district is particularly excited about continuing its farm-to-school programming featuring local producers and further expanding its popular Grab & Go breakfasts with Taher.  

Taher has been an industry leader in dining services for over thirty years and has established successful food service operations in Nebraska districts ranging from the Elkhorn schools to South Sioux City.  Taher’s unique food service approach provides students with an expansive and appealing range of options for Type A school lunches, and their a la carte items offer added options to please every palate. Taher’s registered dietitians and nutritionists work closely with their chefs to ensure optimal taste while meeting rigorous nutritional requirements.

The contract with Taher is for one year and can be extended for up to five years at the district’s discretion.  The proposal from Taher committed to retaining all current Norris Food Service employees by Taher at comparable wages and benefits.  Current Nutrition Services Director Melinda Maendele will continue as the on-site Taher Food Service Director for the district. While lunch prices are not determined for 2014-15, the district is projecting a 15 cent increase for a regular school lunch, with final determination of lunch prices to be made based on the state’s food service calculator taking into account participation percentages and free-reduced lunch reimbursable lunch participation rates.