November 2011


The Mother Nature Network listed BPS as one of the country’s 10 most impressive Farm to School Programs in a recent online article .  The article describes the BPS Farm to School Program’s progression –  from its incarnation in 2008 as a “Harvest of the Month” promotion in only 10 schools, to its expansion to all BPS cafeteria schools.  Edith Murnane, Director of Food Initiatives for Mayor Menino, said of the praise, “Not only are we one of the top 10 most impressive Farm to School programs, but we’re listed as No. 1.”

Read the full article HERE

Congratulations to the entire Food and Nutrition Services team on a job well done. 

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The McCormack Middle School recently launched “Smoothie Fridays,” where low-fat fruit smoothies are offered as a breakfast choice on Fridays, either in the cafeteria or as a “grab and go” option.  Dale Feeney, the cafeteria manager, along with her entire team, have been mixing up flavors like peach-strawberry and strawberry-banana, which students love.  So far, breakfast participation is up by more than 20% on Fridays as a result!     

This introduction of smoothies is part of Fuel Up to Play 60, a nationwide in-school program which is designed to encourage students to eat nutrient-rich foods and complete 60 minutes of physical activity daily. The program is sponsored by National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL), in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Boston Public Schools was fortunate to receive a district grant from Fuel Up in early 2011 to help students develop the habit of eating a healthy breakfast, which has been shown to significantly improve academic performance.  Fuel Up to Play 60 is intended to make positive changes in healthy eating and the physical activity environment in schools.  It is designed to increase student participation in breakfast and is a step in the right direction to have focused, engaged and high-achieving students in the classroom.

Our goal for the program in Boston Public Schools is to increase breakfast participation by 20% by the end of the calendar year.  The Fuel Up to Play 60 grant is used for equipment for serving of breakfast in locations in addition to the cafeteria, such as “Breakfast in the Classroom” and “Grab ‘n Go” breakfast for students to take to their first classroom.  This flexibility in the way breakfast is served means that more students have access to breakfast. 

The Boston Public Schools Farm to School Project was featured in two Boston Globe articles from Tuesday November 1, 2011! Both articles were written by Globe Correspondent Michael Prager, author of Fat Boy, Thin Man, which chronicles his own transformation from obesity to health. 

The first article, “Changing Students Lunches, One Tray at a Time,” looks at the move towards scratch cooking and farm grown ingredients in several Massachusetts school districts, including Boston.  In the article, Prager features Boston Public Schools’ very own Derric Edwards, the Cafeteria Manager at the Dearborn Middle School, along with Kim Szeto, our Farm to School Coordinator, and Sadie Richards-Brown, our FoodCorps representative, cooking up and sampling locally grown collard greens during a recent lunch in Dorchester.  Prager explains, “Brown is showing off collard sprouts, which are unknown to students.  Students are surprised that the chopped broad leaves on their plates had such small beginnings.”  Read the full article on boston.com.

The second article, “Hadley Farmer’s Business is Growing Fast,” profiles Joe Czajkowski of Czajkowski Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts.  Czajkowski Farm is a major player in the Massachusetts Farm to School Project and one of our main sources of locally grown produce at Boston Public Schools.  Read all about the farm’s operations on boston.com