Wally and friends from the Dearborn in their new school garden.

Thursday September 22, 2011, Dearborn Middle School celebrated MA Harvest for Students with a very special guest: Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster! Wally along with other distinguished guests, including City Councilors John Connolly and Tito Jackson, School Committee member Mary Tamer, and Edith Murnane, Director of Food Initiatives for the Mayor, encouraged students to fuel their minds and bodies with healthy foods such as the locally grown green beans on the school lunch menu.

The auditorium roared with excitement for Wally the Green Monsteras he was introduced as a “champion for eating his greens”. Wally gave two thumbs up for locally grown green beans and high fives to all the students as they filed out of the auditorium and up to the cafeteria.

Jose Duarte, Principal at the Dearborn, encouraged students to try these healthy options in the cafeteria and emphasized the importance of making healthy food choices by comparing eating well with putting good quality gas into a nice car. “You wouldn’t put cheap gas into a really nice car, would you? What happens if you just eat a big bag of chips from the corner store?” Duarte asked the crowd of middle school students. A few student from the back responded, “You’ll probably crash!” BPS Farm to School Initiative is not only increasing the availability of healthy options in the cafeteria but is also educating students about the importance of making healthy food choices and how these healthy foods are grown through their new school garden.

Wally 'high fives' students at the Dearborn on their way to the cafeteria.

Dearborn Middle School is one of Boston Public Schools’ 44 full service cafeterias that served up a share of the local harvest with Massachusetts grown apples, pears, collard greens, cabbage (homemade coleslaw), broccoli and roasted green beans this week.

Every Thursday is Local Lunch Thursday in all of the BPS’  full service cafeterias.  So look out for more locally grown items on the lunch line every Thursday this year!