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In the fall issue of Edible Boston, Boston Public Schools is featured in this article by Susan McCrory about locally grown produce on the lunch line.  The article looks at Boston, Arlington, Concord, Lynn and Framingham public schools’ efforts to bring local produce into school cafeterias and discusses some of the challenges of using seasonal produce on the lunch line, getting kids to try new items, having a limited amount time during the school day to feed and educate students about what’s on the line, while also working within a tight budget.

McCrory big take away is that:

There is more than one challenge in implementing the Farm to School model for Massachusetts Food Service Directors. But, the overarching need is to bring together good-food education with demand and supply in a way that is sustainably profitable for all parties…We must be realistic: America is never going to return to being a fully agrarian society. Instead, you just keep innovating and making things work since, in the optimistic words of Alden Cadwell, “anything is possible.”

In Boston we’re making local food possible on the lunch line each week with Local Lunch Thursdays.  Look out for the locally grown coleslaw (cabbage and carrots) and roasted carrots on the lunch line tomorrow in cafeteria schools across the city!

To learn more about what other districts are doing to bring local produce to their cafeterias check out the rest of Susan McCrory’s article at here.

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News stories in the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe during the first few days of school echo the excitement of Food and Nutrition Service about free breakfast for all Boston school students.

Starting on the first day of school, September 6, all students at all Boston schools were offered the opportunity to start the day with a healthy, free meal.  The program is applauded by nutritionists, principals, and students.

The Boston Globe article refers to a study that measured the impact of school breakfast in 16 Boston public schools.  The study showed that increasing student participation in school breakfast also improved nutrition, school attendance, emotional functioning, and math grades.

To read the full articles check out the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe websites.

Click on the badge below to view an interactive map of Free Summer Meal Sites across Boston.  Breakfast and lunch is available to children and teens under 18, and no registration of ID is required.  See HERE for more information about the Summer Food Service Program.

Attention Boston parents and youth!  FREE MEALS (breakfast & lunch) are available this summer for children and teens under the age of 18.

No registration or ID required.  Over 140 sites across Boston.  The program operates from June 25th to August 31st.

To find a site near you, visit www.mealsforkids.org or call the Project Bread Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

Please join us for the kick off barbecue, July 10th from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Hyde Park Community Center.

The Summer Food Service Program is a partnership between The United States Department of Agriculture, Project Bread, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Department of Food and Nutrition Services at Boston Public Schools.  

Students at the Curley Upper School, in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, had the opportunity to “preview” and sample the salad bar that will operate in their cafeteria next year.  The Salad Bar, provided via the Salad Bars to Schools Foundation, was funded by the local Jamaica Plain Whole Foods Market.

Curley Principal Jeff Slater, along with Guidance Counselor Susan Trotz, both instrumental in the success of the project, were thrilled to see their students excited about healthy eating.  On the three days the bar operated this year, almost half of the students eating lunch in the cafeteria at the Curley school opted for the salad bar.  The bar was stocked with fresh romaine lettuce, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sliced red cabbage, bean salads, turkey, ham, and low-fat mozzarella cheese.  Served with a choice of milk and whole wheat pita or rolls, the salad bar option is a full reimbursable school meal.

The Curley salad bar is the first salad bar in BPS to open and operate at the Middle School level, and along with 5 bars in BPS High Schools, is one of 6 bars currently in service across the district.  FNS staff, lead by Cafeteria Manager Rina Santillian, are excited about continuing the salad bar in the 2012-2013 school year.

Couple quick pictures taken at Lee Elementary last week.  Cafeteria Manager, Marilyn Taylor-Hill has piloted yogurt and fruit parfaits.  Vanilla yogurt, crunchy granola, and fruit = breakfast done right!  Thanks to the Food & Nutrition Services staff at the Lee for all their hard work.

The Boston Public School’s Farm to School Initiative is thrilled to be featured in First Lady Michelle Obama’s new book American Grown, The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.  The BPS Farm to School Initiative’s Local Lunch Thursday, which brings locally grown produce like squash, rutabaga, collard greens, and strawberries to the lunch line at all 46 full service cafeterias across the district, was highlighted along other innovative programs in school districts and communities nation wide.  Kim Szeto, the Farm to School Coordinator for Boston, is quoted in American Grown: “We often bring the whole vegetable or seedling into the cafeteria along with the samples to show students.  The more kids know about these vegetable, the more them might like to eat them and even grow them.”

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