School Food Collaboration: The first of many!


Kelsey Massis, Chartwells dietitian, meets with Classical students (above) and English students (below) to discuss opportunities for change in the school food program.

November 7, 2016

We had our first School Food Advisory Council (SFAC) meeting with Chartwells Dietitian, Kelsey Massis, in late October. Goal being to collaborate with Kelsey throughout the year to improve school food by giving English and Classical students a voice in the process, with hope that this will lead to increased meal participation. 

During this first meeting, a plethora of information was shared followed by great discussion. We realized that school food is, well, complicated! There are so many hardworking people that contribute to providing school food to 1,000 plus students at both English and Classical every day of the week. From Chartwells Dining Services providing the food, to the kitchen manager, to the lead cooks, to the assistant cooks, there are A LOT of moving pieces to this process. And while we were surprised that there were so many pieces to this puzzle, especially since the food has to meet USDA School Food nutrition guidelines , we have hope that we can positively contribute.

We learned where the food comes from, the amount of food that’s made and how that’s determined, and who is making the food Students asked mindful questions throughout the meeting like “Why is juice offered every day during breakfast, but only a few days a week during lunch?” and “Why is pizza offered everyday?”. Knowledge is power, and with this knowledge, we can determine where realistic changes are possible and the certain areas that are out of our control at this time (ie. federal guidelines).

Together, with Kelsey, we determined next steps for this year. SFAC will work on the creation of a school food survey to gain a better sense of what the entire student body thinks about school food and where they would like to see changes. We will also host a focus group, inviting student leaders to participate in a meaningful discussion on the school food environment and where there are opportunities for change.

Stay tuned about the continued work SFAC will be doing this school year and beyond!

Wrapping up with an inspirational quote by Jane Goodall:

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

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