New Food To Stick A Fork In

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From the menu, you'd think it's a gourmet cafe, but it's just the Payson High School cafeteria.

Beginning Thursday, courtesy of a new food services agreement between the district and provider, Sodexho high school students will stick their forks into entrees like Chinese chicken salads.

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The Payson Unified School District's new food service provides students with more choices and better nutrition for breakfast and lunch.

"The reason the new company was brought on board for all schools was because the food services department was not breaking even," said Payson High School Principal Roy Sandoval.

"After a great deal of research, the board determined that it was worth contracting out for food services if better food with more choices could be provided to students with greater efficiency and financial viability," Sandoval said.

"(PUSD) wanted more variety and participation," said Bonnie Shipitalo, general manager of food services for PUSD.

Pizza is the number one favorite food among students according to Sodexho studies.

"That's why we offer pizza every day," Shipitalo said. "If students don't like the other selections they will be sure to like pizza."

In addition to entree salads and pizza, students can choose from Mexican food, and hot and cold sandwiches, including traditional hot-line trays items like meatloaf.

A bevy of vegetables, fruits and salads round out their culinary tastes and nutritional needs.

"It's a complete meal for $1.50," Shipitalo said.

Lunches cost $1.25 for students from kindergarten through fifth grade, and $1.50 for sixth-graders and beyond.

Elementary students will also have a selection of five entrees each day and newly painted cafeterias to eat in Shipitalo said.

Sodexho is a multinational food service company serving public and private school and colleges all over the world. PUSD menus and other nutritional links are available on their website www.sodexhoeducation.com.

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