Sodexo, the nutrition services provider for many area school districts, gets feedback

Recently a small group of Oregon City High School students were invited to join a focus group to discuss their lunchtime experience.

PHOTO COURTESY: MICHAEL CLARK - Laura Ferreyra, a food service worker at Oregon City High School, works to provide great customer service.The marketing team from Sodexo, the nutrition services provider for many area school districts, including Oregon City, created the project.

The school district and Sodexo have a long partnership and have the shared goals of increasing the nutritional benefits of meals provided and improving demand from students.

The focus group was a two-day project that included the group breakout into four subgroups. Each smaller group was responsible for taking pictures of what they liked about lunch, as well as what could be improved. Beyond taking pictures, the students completed surveys and presented their findings to the entire group and staff.

"Inviting students to participate in the focus group was a great experience," said Chris Davison, Sodexo nutrition services supervisor. "Learning from the students and hearing their honest feedback about the program and ways to improve was invaluable."

Themes emerged between the four groups that were positive and also noted areas for improvement. All groups agreed that a highlight of lunchtime was the smiling and helpful food service staff and efficiency of checkout. Themes for improvement were additional fruit options and food preparation improvements for some items.

"It is great to see our nutritional services provider take such an active role in learning exactly what the students like, and balancing that with what is healthy and nutritious," said Wes Rogers, director of operations at Oregon City School District. "Sodexo is a partner in the finest sense of the word, and they are always striving for improvement."

Sodexo is planning to do the focus-group project again at the high school as well as extend it to area middle schools.

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