Nutri-Serve Program Prepares Special Needs Students for Success

by | Apr 2, 2024 | News Releases

Daily Living Students

Nutri-Serve, a division of Metz Culinary Management, Inc. (Metz) has expanded its innovative Daily Living classes, originally developed in 2021 with Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, NJ. The Daily Living classes provide special needs students with life-skills that include planning, preparing and serving meals. Gloucester City School District in New Jersey partnered with Nutri-Serve this year to launch a similar program at the Gloucester City High School.

Working in partnership with program directors and teachers, special needs students learn a variety of skills such as menu planning, food shopping, meal preparation, register operation, and customer service skills. Utilizing a classroom kitchen designed for the program, students plan and prepare meals from scratch, and then serve them to the teachers and school staff daily. Students receive school credit while building life and employment capabilities. The hope is this skill set prepares these students for gainful employment upon graduation. Some students in the program will go on to work for Nutri-Serve post-graduation.

“Gloucester City’s Daily Living classes are about preparing special needs students for life,” said Cathy Connolly, Regional Operations Executive for Nutri-Serve. “Students interact with local vendors, plan, prepare and serve meals restaurant style. These experiences build the students’ self-confidence, and they take great pride in their work.”

Student-created menus include:

  • Southwest Salad
  • Fresh Salad
  • Big Mack Salad
  • Italian Wedding Soup
  • Turkey Club Sandwich
  • Corned Beef Reuben
  • Italian Chopped Hoagie

“Before we expanded the program into Gloucester City, the Clearview Regional High School Special Education staff was gracious in showing us around their school and introducing us to the inner workings of their original idea,” said Sarah Bell, School Business Administrator for Gloucester City School District. “Launching at Gloucester City was possible thanks to a total team effort between the two school districts, program directors, food service directors, and teachers who run the program alongside the students.”

The Daily Living classes have garnered excellent feedback from students and teachers. Real-world training for special needs students paves the way for employment following graduation and gives them the edge to succeed for the rest of their lives. Metz is planning to take the Nutri-Serve Daily Living classes to other high schools soon.