UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Healthier choices on school lunch menus

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Healthier choices on school lunch menus

As students at Mill Hill Elementary School settled into lunch in the school’s cafeteria Feb. 7, they were greeted by a celebrity — a chef who is becoming a superstar for championing better food for schools.
During all six lunch periods that day, John Turenne, founder and president of Sustainable Food Systems, rallied the children in support of “good, healthy, cool school food” and provided samples of that day’s hot lunch.
Quesadillas — prepared fresh with whole wheat tortillas, broccoli, parsley, garlic, and cheese — got rousing support, with lots of thumbs-up.
Answering the call
Turenne began revamping school lunches in Fairfield this past fall. He was brought in thanks to the efforts of some vocal and passionate parent advocates.
“The community spoke out,” Turenne said.
It was a long time coming.
Fuel for Learning Partnership, the PTA council committee that worked to bring more healthful options to school lunches, believes having Sustainable Food Systems working with the district is an amazing opportunity.
“Parent advocates are grateful to Fairfield school food services for hiring John Turenne, whose experience and knowledge about how to improve school food is unparalleled,” Tara Cook-Littman, chairman of Fuel for Learning Partnership, said.
Turenne sees himself as a liaison between the community and the town’s school kitchens.
“I consider myself a bridge builder between passionate advocate parents and those who have to work in the kitchen,” Turenne said.
Parents have noticed.
The mother of Ian, a fourth grader, has given the new lunches her seal of approval, according to the 9-year-old.
His mother used to say that Ian and his sister, a middle school student in Fairfield, could not eat the school’s hot lunches. She changed her mind this year.
“Mom didn’t want us to have hot lunches last year,” Ian said. “But this year she said it’s OK.” READ MORE:

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