The Edmond Sun

September 7, 2012

Nhinja Wok brings sushi to Edmond school lunches

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Students at Edmond Public Schools high schools and middle schools are seeing a new option in their lunch menu. Nhinja Sushi & Wok recently announced that they will be providing sushi three days a week to Edmond students.

Thursday at Cheyenne Middle School, the first day of sushi for them, 75 trays of sushi were bought by the students.

“We got 75 and sold all of them,” said Judy Thompson, the school’s cafeteria manager.

“The cafeteria managers are responsible for odering the amount they think they can sell at each school, and we pay as we go just like we would pay any other food service provider,” said Dan Lindley, district Child Nutrition director.

The students had three varieties to choose from including California, Vegetable and Spicy Firefly although the students weren’t real fond of the spicy ones, Thompson said.

“We have a vested interest in providing healthy, quality food for our children,” said Mary Nhin, owner of Nhinja Sushi & Wok, “and we believe that Edmond Public Schools’ administration’s goal of providing students with a homemade meal for lunch aligns with our company mission. So, of course, we are honored to usher in a new generation of sushi lovers.”

School lunches across the country have come under fire in recent years for their lack of nutritional value. Though the USDA upgraded standards last year, many experts believe that the menus still have too much unhealthy fat, salt and sugar.

White House Chef Sam Kass joined the national conversation by adding that school food is often high in additives and preservatives as well. An increase in childhood obesity has been linked to federally funded school lunch progams, according to a USDA study.

Many parents in the Edmond have these same concerns and are excited for their children to have another healthy option presented in the cafeteria.

“I am so thrilled to see the schools providing sushi as a lunch option,” said Sara Hill of Edmond, whose sons attend Edmond North High School and Cheyenne Middle School. “I think it’s a great option for kids trying to eat healthier. Some kids may never have been exposed to sushi, but this could be a great opportunity to broaden their horizons and maybe develop a taste for something healthier.”

Sushi is not currently available at the elementary school level. Nhin says she has had numerous requests from parents of younger students and hopes their presence at the elementary school level may happen in the future.

Nhinja will supply three varieties of sushi on the following schedule:

• Tuesdays — Cimarron and Central middle schools and Memorial High School;

• Wednesdays — Summit Middle School and Santa Fe High School;

• Thursdays — Cheyenne and Sequoyah middle schools and North High School.

The business is reimbursed based on the number of packets sold per lunch period.

Nhinja Sushi & Wok owners Mary and Kang Nhin have lived in Edmond since 1999 with their three sons who attend Edmond Public Schools.