SchoolLunchHeroDay_2015

May 1, 2015 is School Lunch Hero Day!  We know that our students are better learners when their stomachs aren’t grumbling. Every day our cafeteria staff plays a HUGE role in making sure our students have healthy meals to eat at school each day.

Today we are saying THANK YOU to over 400 BPS school food professionals who prepare around 40,000 meals every day for BPS students.  These women and men work hard as they aim to prepare healthy, tasty meals that meet federal nutrition standards and student preferences on the lunch line.

StaffAppreciationMather_2015May

At the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, FoodCorps Service Member Annabel Raby organized a cafeteria staff appreciation day to honor and thank the staff with posters and aprons decorated by the students.

Hope you will also take a moment to say THANK YOU to your cafeteria staff today!

School Lunch Hero Day was started by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series to say THANK YOU to his childhood school lunch hero and all the women and men who continue to serve and care for our students every day in our school cafeterias.

Check out this YouTube video to learn more about School Lunch Hero Day!

 

FoodCorps_CitySprouts_SY15

Boston Public Schools (BPS) has wonderful partners that help support farm to school and school garden efforts in our schools.  This week we are highlighting CitySprouts and FoodCorps as one our BPS Farm to School partners that’s making an impact in our schools.  Annabel Raby and Amanda Chin are FoodCorps Service Members with City Sprouts working with Orchard Gardens K-8 School, Mather Elementary School and Higginson-Lewis K-8 School this year.

Amanda is managing the Food Pantry at Orchard Gardens K-8 School once a month serving 200 families who live in surrounding neighborhoods. She is also leading a CitySprouts after school program at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in collaboration with Citizens Schools that will use food justice issues and the local food system as a topics developing communication skills with a class of 7th graders.

Annabel is leading Team Grow, CitySprouts after school program in Boston, at the Mather Elementary School (with 4th and 5th graders) and at the Higginson-Lewis School (with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders).  These students will be examining the interdependence of the garden’s ecosystem and learning how to support each other through growing, harvesting, and cooking food from the garden.

Amanda and Annabel are supporting food education and distribution in our schools and we are thankful for the impact that they will have on our students at Orchard Garden Pilot School, Mather Elementary School and Higginson-Lewis K-8 School this year!

Also check out how Farm to School efforts across the country are impacting students in a healthy way:

 

Wondering what’s locally grown in Boston Public Schools meals? Check out the locally grown carrot coins that are on the menu this Thursday!

mather--031-RCastagnaMay 30, 2013 – Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson and students from the Mather Elementary School came together with Newman’s Own Foundation, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Project Bread, New England Dairy and Food Council (NEDFC), state officials, and Boston native and former NFL player Jermaine Wiggins to celebrate Boston’s success of Breakfast in the Classroom.

With support from Newman’s Own Foundation, Boston Public Schools has implemented Breakfast in the Classroom in eight  elementary schools this year. As a result, an additional 600 children receive breakfast each day in our schools, a 49 percent increase in participation.

Research shows a range of benefits from offering Breakfast in the Classroom. In addition to fighting hunger, they include improved academic performance, less disruptive student behavior, fewer visits to the school nurse, and increased attendance.

“Ensuring our students are healthy and ready to learn is a top priority in the Boston Public Schools,” said Superintendent Johnson. “We have seen a high level of positive academic and health outcomes especially among low-income students in our schools that have implemented Breakfast in the Classroom.”

MatherCollage_RCostagna

To guarantee that all children have a healthy start to their day, Boston Public Schools has made it a priority to improve participation in school breakfast, including the implementation of Universal Free Breakfast for all Boston Public Schools students by Michael R. Peck, Director of BPS Food and Nutrition Services.

“Breakfast in the Classroom is a simple and effective way to help address childhood hunger in this country while also contributing to positive education outcomes,” said Lisa Walker, managing director of Newman’s Own Foundation.  “We salute the city of Boston and its public schools for their commitment to provide all students with the opportunity to start the day with a good breakfast.”

Boston Public Schools plans to continue expanding the program to additional schools in the fall of 2013.

 

 

Photos by Robert Castagna.