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Hacienda La Puente Unified Selected for Nutrition Program, Cultivates Food Reform with Healthy Cooking Alternatives
Posted 2/15/23

City of Industry – Hacienda La Puente Unified Nutrition Services Supervisor Brittney Rodriguez is one of 24 District leaders nationwide selected to participate in the Chef Ann Foundation's Healthy School Food Pathway (HSFP) Fellowship program, aiming to empower food leaders to bring more delicious, nutritious and locally-sourced meals to students.


The inaugural year-long program, which began on Jan. 9, is designed to develop the next generation of school nutrition professionals in scratch-cooking school food operations. Through weekly live-learning sessions, hands-on workforce, cooking experiences and various networking opportunities, fellows will learn successful ways to serve fresh, healthy and cost-effective meals.  


"Our students spend the majority of their day at school and for some students, the meals they receive on campus are the only meals they will eat all day," Rodriguez said. "It's our responsibility to ensure that our students receive the best meals and I am excited to continue advocating for them and including them in decision-making. I look forward to helping our District achieve culturally diverse, fresh, healthy scratch-cooked meals that support our children's and our planet's health."


To be selected, applicants showcased their passion for scratch cooking and school food reform through a multi-step process, including written and video applications and virtual interviews. The 2023 cohort includes expertise from a broad range of roles within their districts, including supervisors, chefs, culinary managers, program specialists and nutritionists.


The program will conclude with an implementation-based capstone project, demonstrating the application of their learning to help their districts build and sustain a healthy, scratch-cooking-focused program.


"Brittney's efforts and acceptance into this competitive program is a testament to the hard work and devotion of our entire team at HLPUSD Nutrition Services," Associate Superintendent of Business Services Manoj Roychowdhury said. "Our staff is passionate about including the voice of our students in the food selection process and we look forward to seeing what Brittney and our students will have cooking for us in the near future."


As part of her leadership role, Rodriguez helped coordinate the District's first-ever taste test in honor of National School Lunch Week in November 2022, where students at William Workman High School voted on new menu items added to TK-8 school menus in January 2023. The District plans to conduct more student taste tests in 2023.


“Our Board of Education is always looking for creative ways to improve the learning environments for our students and we are thrilled to learn and implement the skills and recipes that Brittney will bring to our District” Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez said. “Our District strives for the best and we are eager to strengthen our menu and operations to ensure HLPUSD students have the healthiest meals to fuel their growing minds."


Visit the HSFP Fellowship Program webpage to learn more about the leadership development, program goals and 2023 cohort.




HLPUSD_NUTRITIONPROGRAM1: Hacienda La Puente Unified Nutrition Services Supervisor Brittney Rodriguez has been selected as a fellow in the year-long inaugural Chef Ann Foundation's HSFP program.



HLPUSD_NUTRITIONPROGRAM2: Chef Ann Foundation HSFP program fellows visit a nearby school district to explore healthy cooking alternatives during a learning session in February 2023.