asbointl.org SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2021 17 ANCILLARY SERVICES Food Services? There’s an App for That This district introduced a food services app that promotes good health and communication. By Cindy Reilmann, CPA, SFO, and Elizabeth Barrett M aking processes more efficient and improving communication among stakeholders has long been a priority for Francis How- ell School District in St. Charles, Missouri, but especially since March 2020. As the district’s students, teachers, and staff are learning and working both virtually and onsite, maintain- ing connection with our stakehold- ers is more critical than ever. One goal—and challenge—in the district has been to help make life easier for our families including keeping them informed about services available to them during the pandemic. The district is a contracted man- agement company operation. Since becoming the supervisor of food and nutrition services (FNS) opera- tions five years ago, I (Cindy) have learned about what components make up a reimbursable meal, how to put together a comprehensive FNS Request for Proposal, and how to help students and parents make good breakfast and lunch choices. Most recently, I participated in implementing a new mobile app to keep our families in the know about meal options. The So Happy app, available as a free download in the Apple App Store and through Google Play, allows parents, staff, and students to see what’s on the menu each day at their school, along with caloric, nutritional, and allergen details. For students and parents of students with food allergies or specific dietary COURTESY OF CINDY REILMANN requirements, the So Happy app provides an additional assurance of safety. When a student account is created, the parent or student can identify allergies; the app flags aller- gen-containing menu items each day. Students can see all of the things they can eat safely. Parents and stu- dents can communicate with one another about the student’s choices for breakfast and lunch, confirming that the students are ordering what is in the best interest of their over- all health. Knowledge Is Power The student dietary information is essential for the FHSD food and nutrition team as they plan meals, including off-site emergency meals. With easily available information about allergies and dietary restric- tions, the SNS team can ensure every student receives the appro- priate menu. Beyond allergy safety, the So Happy app supports health and wellness through nutrition analysis and an activity tracker. Students The So Happy app (left and above) is an easy way for students and families in Francis Howell School District to choose healthy meal options.