Maplewood Career Center Hosts Third Annual Back to School Food Fair

Maplewood Career Center recently held its third annual Back to School Food Fair for its students. The event, which was held on Sept. 28, brought together local businesses and organizations, introducing students to the latest food products in the foodservice industry and sharing new menu items.

“Food fairs are a common occurrence in the foodservice industry,” said Joe Hinton, cafeteria supervisor at Maplewood. “We bring the Back to School Food Fair to students so they can sample new foods, give feedback and play an active role in Maplewood’s menu planning.”


The Back to School Food Fair took place in the Maplewood cafeteria from 10:20 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. during student lunch periods. After students sampled food, they filled out a survey sheet to provide feedback on the new products. Maplewood Food Service will use this information to plan the student menu based on students’ preferences.

Maplewood partners with Gordon Food Service every other year to organize this event, so all students who attend Maplewood are able to attend the event at least once.

Students who participate in the Hospitality Services program play a role in the event by assisting the various vendors at their booths.


Local sponsors and participants at the Food Fair consisted of Jeff Owens with Gordon Food Service, Tom McIntyre and the Pillsbury Doughboy with General Mills, Mark Foss with Pepsico, Borden Dairy Company of Ohio, Martha Stahl with Stahl’s Farm Market, Amanda Bretz with Acosta, Greg Kroah with Waypoint Marketing, and Portage County Ohio State Highway Patrol.


Additionally, students in the Hospitality Services program made whole grain cookies from scratch for other students to sample. Maplewood will likely feature the whole grain cookies on upcoming menus as a substitute for commercially-made cookies.


“It is important to us to offer Maplewood students plenty of options for healthy eating, and this Food Fair is a great way to introduce them to new food items,” said Superintendent Randall Griffith. “Thank you to all of the local businesses, along with the Maplewood teachers, staff and our Hospitality Services and Culinary Arts students for their support of this event.”

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