When asked how they now view the school cafeteria environment, both interns voiced surprise.
"We had no idea that the food was this good," said Caplan, a Michigan native. Kirkville resident Dashnau has a 10-year-old son in the district and she, too, said she was unaware of the food quality.
"They're really trying to make [school lunches] nutritious [by serving] whole grains, low-fat cheeses and salads," Caplan said. "They have kiwi, cantaloupe [and] hummus with the sandwiches."
"[Nancy's] trying to expand [students'] palettes [by] giving them a nice variety of foods," said Dashnau, who now encourages her son Josh to eat more school lunches.
Caplan said she was also impressed that the entire outfit is self-sustaining; Kerrigan is required to develop a financial budget separate from the school district.
"I've learned so much," said Caplan, who had no clinical experience until this year.
Dashnau, an employee of Loretto's Advanced Meal, said their rotations at hospitals, schools, etc, allow them to directly apply their four years of nutrition education to real life settings. Her next stop is the Office of Aging.