What drives the nation’s top foodservice operators? We asked the 2017 Silver Plate Class a few questions to get the inside scoop. Find out what they had to say about career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.
Betti Wiggins, Executive Director, Office of School Nutrition at Detroit Public Schools, received the 2017 Silver Plate Award in the Elementary & Secondary Schools category. Nominated by Schwan’s Food Service.
What do you enjoy most about your career in foodservice?
The opportunity to serve and improve the food literacy of students, families and community.
Tell us about your biggest career accomplishments:
- Increasing student participation in the summer meal program.
- Being the first district in the nation to implement universal breakfast district-wide.
- Providing all Office of School Nutrition staff an annual monetary bonus based on fiscal year ending fund balance.
- Establishing the Detroit School Garden Collaborative which sponsors school gardens at 80 schools, cultivates a 2.5-acre vegetable production farmer and operates eight student-ran farm stands around the district as part of our student agriculture entrepreneur program.
- Ensure our menu cycle is 63% clean label.
- Purchasing 30% of seasonal produce from Michigan producers.
How is your segment making a difference for the foodservice industry?
We are changing food preferences and habits for generations. In addition, we are ensuring students have more than a consumer relationship with food by improving food literacy through school gardens and the menu changes being implemented in school meals.
What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?
To understand that it’s a privilege to serve children. Most times parents put their unquestionable trust in us as providers to serve their children well.
What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?
That my hard work, dedication and commitment as I strive towards excellence has not gone unnoticed by my peers and the industry. I am very humbled and honored to be chosen for this award.
Join us at the 2017 IFMA Gold & Silver Plate Awards Celebration and help us in honoring Betti Wiggins and the rest of the Silver Plate Recipients.