• There is a link between proper nutrition, health, and learning. Students are more productive when they make good food choices.

    Students need a nutritious breakfast. The school breakfast program offers all children, regardless of income, a critical jump-start at the beginning of each day. Students have access to an entree, a variety of fruits, juice, and milk in the school cafeteria. Eating right before engaging in the learning process will help students perform better in class.

    Nutritious lunches are available. Students are hungry by noon and need healthy food items to enhance their intellectual development. Each school day a variety of food items are available to appeal to students including hot entrees, chef salads, sandwich wraps, sub sandwiches, soup, vegetables, fruits, bread and milk, and dessert items. Students can make their own selections and build a colorful, nutritious meal. This is a time to practice the nutrition education they have learned in the classroom and at home. It is also a time to relax and socialize.

    Students develop food habits that last through their adult years. Talk to your children about the variety of items available to them in the cafeteria and about what they select to eat. Encourage them to try new entrees, add more fruits and vegetables, and try whole-grain bread and low-fat milk.

    Snack items are available. Talk to your children about snack foods. They are not meant to be eaten as an entire meal. Snacks are available to enjoy occasionally in addition to a well-rounded lunch.

    Students can bring lunches from home. It is equally important to pack well-balanced meals from home, introduce whole-grain bread, and include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and a nutritious beverage. When selecting juice, read the label to make sure it is 100% fruit juice and not just 10%. Use snack food sparingly. Keep in mind that bacteria grows rapidly on warm moist food items. To avoid foodborne illness always pack lunches from home in an insulated reusable bag with an ice pack to keep the sandwich, milk, and other food items below 40 degrees.

    It is never too late to begin making nutritious food choices and it certainly is never too early.

    Polly A. Podpeskar, R.D., L.D., directs the Student Nutrition Services Program

  • Food & Nutrition Staff

    Student Nutrition Services
    800 Conifer Drive
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744
    218-327-5771
    218-327-5776 fax

    Department Staff
    Director - Polly Podpeskar, R.D, L.D. 
    Secretary - Paula Schafer
    Bookkeeper – Melissa Wells
    Production Coordinator - Jodelle Champlin
    Assistant Production Coordinator - Karen Elander

    Grand Rapids Senior High Staff
    Cindy, Esther, Lynn, Lori W., Kris, Mary Ann, Rhonda, Elena, Mary W., Lori G.

    RJE Middle School Staff
    Anita, Shelley S., Teresa, Jeanne, Lori O., Cami

    Bigfork Staff
    Carol, Terri, Nicole

    Elementary School Staff
    Cohasset- Donna, Shelley J., Jean
    West Rapids - Manuel, Michelle
    East Rapids - Angie, Jan

Image of Polly P and staff
  • Special Diet Statement

    Grand Rapids Public Schools Student Nutrition Services makes every attempt to accommodate all students' meal accommodations. To request an alternate meal, our department must have a statement from the proper authority. We utilize the Special Diet Statement form developed by the Minnesota Department of Education. Please complete the Special Diet Statement along with your physician. Send the completed statement to Student Nutrition Services, Grand Rapids Senior High, 800 Conifer Drive, Grand Rapids MN 55744.

    Special Diet Statement Form