Gerry Giarratana, is the Chair of Public Communications on the SNAPA Board of Directors, and is the Transportation, Warehouse and Food Service Director at the Palisades School District in Kintnersville. He also serves on the district’s safe schools and emergency management committees. Prior to this, Gerry was a regional director for a national restaurant chain, overseeing the operations of 30 restaurant locations. He has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years, owning and operating 3 family restaurants with his lovely wife, Gina who is also a food service director. Gerry and Gina live in Springtown, with their 2 children Matthew and Julia.
During his years at Palisades, Gerry has implemented many fresh food initiatives for the school lunch program ... salad bars at every school, homemade soup with lunch, fresh baked desserts, and menu items to include (all fresh), roast pork, roast beef, chicken bruschetta, chicken drumsticks, homemade pizza and roast turkey with homemade stuffing. As chairman of the district wellness committee, Gerry meets monthly with a team of parents, students, administrators, cafeteria workers, nurses, and athletic instructors, emphasizing this year non-competitive afterschool activities and student cooking clubs. Last year they installed outdoor classrooms, as well as community gardens. With gardening as part of the curriculum, students have hands on experience, while learning the value of growing vegetables, and eating fresh vegetables.
Whether it is creating a new food service concept, such as Deli bars, grab n’ go, options, or a new menu item, “I love figuring out better ways to serve the students.” With the continued involvement and support of the school board, the Food Service Department continues to insure and build students healthy futures, through knowledge, involvement, and wellness activities.
Gerry has served as Vice President and President of the local SNAPA chapter, increasing involvement and enrollment through the surrounding school districts. Each meeting we add training and development activities for our staff. This gives the staff an opportunity to talk about their schools, have fun, and learn from each other.