Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced the appointment of Rose Tricario of East Windsor as Director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Food and Nutrition.
Tricario was a school food service director for 16 years and served as President of the New Jersey School Nutrition Association in 2009-2010. She replaces Emma Davis Kovacs who retired in 2010.
“Rose Tricario is an innovative, energetic leader who has worked during her career to improve the nutrition of New Jersey school students,” said Secretary Fisher. “I look forward to working with Rose as we continue our efforts to ensure that all of our state’s citizens have access to healthy foods.”
Most recently, Tricario was the Jackson School District’s Food Service Director, where she launched a breakfast program, implemented technological upgrades that streamlined the application and payment processes, and worked with other professionals in the opening of two new schools and future renovation plans.
Tricario earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. She worked as a restaurant manager for Spirit Cruises in New York City, then later started her career in school nutrition with Chartwells in New Jersey.
“With the recent passage of the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, we are at a turning point for school nutrition programs in fighting the obesity epidemic and encouraging healthy choices in school,” said Tricario. “I look forward to working with Secretary Fisher, the State Board of Agriculture and division staff in helping people in their time of need, working to eliminate hunger in the Garden State and providing nutritious foods to those who might not be able to access it on their own.”
The Division of Food and Nutrition administers the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, After School Snack Program, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Family Day Care Program, Commodity Food Distribution Program, State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
The division oversees 2,868 school lunch programs that feed 685,101 students on a daily basis and 1,833 school breakfast programs that serve 173,735 students every day. The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides meals at 141 adult day care agencies with 237 programs, 477 child day care agencies with 1,280 programs and 11 family day care agencies with 610 homes. And, the Summer Feeding Program funded lunches for at-risk students during summer break at 87 agencies throughout the state.
On the emergency food distribution side, six state-contracted foodbanks serve 793 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. In 2009, more than 20 million pounds of USDA-donated food was distributed to the foodbanks through TEFAP and 7 million pounds through the SFPP, the state-funded program that requires the foodbanks to purchase nutrient-dense foods with an emphasis on buying fresh produce from our state’s farmers.