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Greeley schools now preparing 75 percent of meals from scratch-getting national attention for menu

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posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 01:31 PM
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Michelle, take note!
This Greeley, Colorado school district has figured it out!

But in Greeley-Evans School District 6, they are changing the menu and perhaps, raising the bar. Some say the lunches are not only edible, but restaurant-quality good. And they are healthy, too.

“Before we began this journey, less than 20 percent of our foods were prepared from scratch,” said nutrition services director for the district, Jeremy West.

That was four years ago when new U.S. Department of Agriculture standards took effect requiring districts to serve healthier options. Since then, West said it has been his mission to change the menu.

Greeley now serves mostly fresh-out-of-the-field red potatoes, green chili, beans and other produce from local farmers. In fact, of the $4.2 million the district spends on school lunches, breakfasts and snacks each year, nearly 25 percent goes to purchase local produce, meats, grains and dairy.

On this particular day in the Channel 7 News Denver video, they were serving hand made and hand rolled burritos ( 9000 of them! ) . Green chili sauce was made from fresh green chilis, that were locally produced.

The district hired an executive CHEF, and trained the cooks how to prepare these delicious restaurant quality meals. They use a central location to cook and prepare, then the food is shipped around to the schools to be served. This has cut their labor costs by not have to fully staff each of the kitchens at the schools.

You can also see in the videos that there are delicious salad bars and multiple choices of FRESH fruits and vegetables daily.

The childrens' scores have greatly improved and they are seeing better behavior from the students as well.

A different youtube video that is from 2013 when they first implemented the program titled "From the beginning: Greeley School District Meal Program Case Study"



Schools boards across the nation should be implementing this lunch program!




posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: tinker9917

Kudos to the Greeley School District for taking a labor-intensive but common sense approach to a healthy menu for children at school! I've read how many kids discard unwanted healthy food from mandated menu implementation, and repackaged in edible form like the OP, success can be achieved.

This program should serve as a template for other schools that seek a balance diet needed to keep learning kids at peak, and it's a drastic turn around from when I ate lunch as a kid in the cafeteria. Raw product to finished would involve more labor to prepare, possibly, and the cost of prior ready to serve food vs this program might result in offsets to the budget. Thanks for the article Tinker, and props to those in Greeley for imaginative menu planning!



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 01:56 PM
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It's great that they are doing that, kids need to be eating real foods. The trouble is that a lot of it is still commercial foods which have chemistry that has been altered over the years.

But it is a lot better than highly processed foods.



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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When I had my restaurants I did the school lunches for a year. We prepared all homemade meals 5 times a week for all the schools except the high school which did not want them. The average cost worked out to around $2.00 per child and we used no pre-made products.



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 02:05 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

When I had my restaurants I did the school lunches for a year. We prepared all homemade meals 5 times a week for all the schools except the high school which did not want them. The average cost worked out to around $2.00 per child and we used no pre-made products.


Absolutely awesome



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: tinker9917
Absolutely awesome


Yeah, the kids and parents loved it and the feedback was all positive. Sadly we only did it for one year since the schools never paid on time. At one point they owed us over $60,000 and with the tight margins we worked on it was a challenge.




edit on 6-9-2015 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 08:26 PM
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Greeley has a lot of problems and it is good that they have made this change. When I observed teachers last spring I spent a lot of time in Greeley and I did notice their food was fresh and looked "home cooked". Even in the poorer school I was at the food seemed decent.

However this does not negate the fact that Colorado and Greeley have some very serious problems in the education sector. Colorado spends very little on public education. How little? We're 40th in the nation.

When I was at one of the poorer schools, it was a brand new building and looked very nice. However when I walked by the library it was almost completely empty. Also the music program (I was studying music ed) was terribly funded, there were no books for the kids and very few instruments.

I'm glad they feed the kids good food, especially the poorer kids who only eat at school, but they have a long way to go!



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: tinker9917



Michelle, take note!

Take note of what? She wanted the schools to start serving healthier meals and fresh food.



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 09:20 PM
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The district my sister's kids go to started going down this route too. They hired a chef and scrapped Michelle's rules. They try to stay healthier where they can, but the strict limits and stuff are gone. The food is healthier, but it's also edible now.







 
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