Carol Gilbert

carol-gilbert-eastearl
Carol Gilbert Consulting
Work Address: 628 Elm Street
East Earl, PA 17519
Work Phone #: 717-669-2213
email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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arol Gilbert has been in school food service for 27 years. She now runs her own company called Carol H. Gilbert Consulting. In this company she provides training and consulting solutions for School Food Service operations. The company’s tag line is, “Planting the seeds of foodservice excellence!”

While Carol was working in the school system as a School Food Service Director her breakfast programs included both traditional hot breakfast served in the cafeteria and “Grab ‘n Go” breakfast. “Grab ‘N Go” service was started in one elementary school in which the buses dropped off students so far from the cafeteria that they did not have enough time to go there for breakfast before class started. With the “Grab ‘n Go” service, students picked up breakfast in the hallway as they entered the building on their way from the buses to their classrooms. One concern with this type of service involved trash in the classrooms. However, a custodian suggested that they place a trash can in each hallway. Breakfast garbage was deposited in this trash can, which was then removed mid-morning from the hallway, eliminating any pest or odor problems.

Carol offers some suggestions for a successful school breakfast program including the following:

  • Get buy-in from faculty, administrators, and students. Carol’s staff provided a kick-off sample breakfast for faculty at breakfast staff meetings to introduce the program. Then on the first day of the program in each building they provided free breakfast to all students. Vendors helped by donating muffins, cereal, and juice.
  • Plan, review, and plan some more. The more detailed your work plan, the less likely you are to have problems. Think through all of the potential concerns (late buses, student payments, supervision of students.)
  • Find out what students want. Use focus groups, especially at the secondary level, to allow for student input.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate to all stakeholders. When starting a new program, keep everyone “in the loop” including administrators, faculty, parents, and students.

When asked what she liked most about the school breakfast program, Carol responded, “I liked that we were able to provide a valuable service to students and parents. When you see the eyes of a child light up because they are getting something to eat – especially on a Monday morning- you know you are providing a valuable service.”

Carol Gilbert is a returning Breakfast Brigade member and has a lot to offer to the team. She has years of experience, the know-how for training staff and directors on how to implement a program, knowledge of meal pattern requirements, and insights into how to communicate with key stakeholders and market the program. As a Breakfast Brigade member, she hopes to continue to feel a great level of satisfaction from increasing breakfast programs in the schools that are not currently providing this service for students.