FSSD’s Cross Receives Award of Excellence in Nutrition

FSSD’s Cross Receives Award of Excellence in Nutrition

At the annual Tennessee Coordinated School Health (CSH) Conference held in February, Franklin Special School District Supervisor of Food and Culinary Services Robbin Cross was presented with the Tennessee Award of Excellence in Nutrition.

"Mrs. Cross is extremely deserving of this award,” said FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden, Ph.D. “She continuously looks for ways to improve our offerings and cafeterias. She truly wants our students and staff to have the opportunity to enjoy nutritious and flavorful meals each day, which has sparked the many innovations that have been implemented under her leadership."

With 32 years in the field of nutrition, Cross was hired to head the FSSD Food and Culinary Services Department seven years ago. Her selection by the state CSH Department was due to her efforts to align the FSSD’s cafeteria offerings with Coordinated School Health's standards of an integrated approach to enhance student health and well-being. Cross consistently collaborates with FSSD’s CSH Coordinator Lisa Chatman. “Cross works to identify areas of opportunity and seeks funding through grants to enhance our district's food and culinary services and to provide access to resources related to nutrition,” Chatman said.

Some of Cross’s accomplishments include the implementation of a Chef Ann Foundation grant that provided funding to assist in the use of local foods and increasing the "scratch cooking" selections in our cafeterias. This funding also allowed the implementation of bulk milk machines in our schools, providing a colder, more appealing taste and reducing waste.

A USDA grant Cross was awarded has enabled the FSSD to purchase local grass-fed sausage and beef used for our breakfast and lunches. “Staff and students alike have benefitted from the delicious bacon and burgers and the made-from-scratch pizzas and mashed potatoes,” Chatman said.

Additionally, on behalf of the district, Cross was awarded a Healthy Meals Incentive Grant, which provides funding for increased nutritional education. A culinary class for elementary and middle school students in our after-school programs has been added, as well as educational opportunities for cafeteria staff on the nutritional value of foods

Photo: Robbin Cross (left) displays her state award alongside FSSD Coordinated School Health Coordinator Lisa Chatman.