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Betty Lou's a hit with grade-schoolers

Feb 14, 2013


District looks to other local businesses for possible partnerships

YAMHILL — Jane Gullett, nutrition and food service manager in the Yamhill-Carlton School District, told the school board Monday night how the relationship the district has forged with Betty Lou’s, a McMinnville-based manufacturer of healthy snacks, is proving a great success.

The district is purchasing breakfast bars from the company for its elementary school students.

Each bar combines an ounce of grain with an ounce of fruit, meeting USDA requirements, Gullett said.

The district introduced the new fare Jan. 7. It is offering bars three times a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“The children really do like them,” Gullett said. “We’ve had nothing but excellent reviews from the children. They love the apple cinnamon, blueberry and strawberry.”

The apricot and cherry bars haven’t found as much favor, so are not being offered.

“We are looking for a breakfast bar that would meet the two-ounce requirement and could be used at both the high school and intermediate school,” Gullett said. “The company is working with us on that.”

Gullett, a registered dietitian with 20 years experience in child nutrition, was contacted at the beginning of the school year by Betty Lou’s sales associate Ciara Meyer.

“We’re trying to break into school food service programs throughout the United States,” Meyer said. “We’re excited and pleased about this partnership.”

In addition to Meyer, Gullett said she has also worked with John Sizemore, vice president of sales, and Cheri Drake, sales department office manager.

Gullett was joined by elementary school principal John Horne in subjecting the company’s fruit bars to the all-important taste test. They also sampled whole grain muffins and whole wheat donuts, but felt the fruit bar was the preferred product.

The fact it is made by a local company is an added bonus.

“Our superintendent (Charan Cline) believes in purchasing locally,” Gullett said. “That’s also a philosophy of the USDA and a personal and professional philosophy of mine.

“Doing so provides an economic base and support for the local community. We want to use as many local resources as possible.”

Carlton Farms, on Westside Road, is another company the district is interested in working with, Gullett said.

Hot dogs are an item the district might consider purchasing. She said waffles and sausage are popular at the elementary school, so that’s another potential product option.

In other business, the board:

n Voted to once again offer open enrollment during the 2013-14 school year. Open enrollment allows students to transfer in or out without having to petition for approval or offer justification.

The district will accept 100 applications for the high school and intermediate school. At the elementary school, it will accept only applications from students with a sibling submitting an application to attend intermediate or high school. Alliance Academy is available to all students.

n Approved three-year contracts running July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016, for Horne, intermediate school Principal Gretchen Brunner, high school principal Jim Orth and high school vice principal Jeff Davis.

n Approved a budget calendar for 2013-14, culminating in adoption by the board at its meeting of Monday, June 10.

n Learned that 73 iPad minis, covers, cords and headphones have been purchased for the elementary school, using $20,000 in walk-a-thon funds, $4,000 in district money from the building and district levels and $3,100 from the Y-C Education Foundation. The main focus will be in the math and reading curriculum.

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