School nutrition programs across the Commonwealth have been hard at work. Check out the recent news and resources in support of universal school meals in Massachusetts.
Triton and Northampton schools recently hosted visits to their districts to demonstrate the impact of schools meals for all.
In Triton, staff were joined by USDA Food & Nutrition Services Administrator Cindy Long, Northeast Regional Administrator Lizbeth Silbermann, and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley for a tour of the cafeteria facilities and the chance to sit down with 12th graders who shared their experiences with free school meals for all the last few years.School Nutrition Director, Sarah Littmann, stated, “Universal School Meals has given us financial stability to improve the quality of meals being served. We’re able to bring in new equipment to our schools and do scratch cooking trainings. School districts across the state are seeing these improvements.”
In Northampton, the school nutrition staff engage regularly in trainings with Project Bread Chef Educators to improve their meal program as part of the School Food Fellowship. School Food Fellows participate in monthly professional development trainings and onsite meetings with Project Bread’s Chef Educators, including the development of new recipes that cater to supply chain limitations and meet USDA nutrition standards. Northampton’s school nutrition director, Mistelle Hannah, has been able to use funding from Universal School Meals to build out her kitchen capacity, the School Food Fellowship has helped expand her staff capacity.
Schools like Billerica and Uxbridge are also showcasing the benefits of universal school meals. Billerica’s Elementary school was visited by Massachusetts Governor, Maura Healey, Massachusetts Secretary, Patrick Tutwiler, Project Bread’s Jennifer Lemmerman, Vice President of Public Policy, and DESE Commissioner, Jeffrey C. Riley, to have lunch.
In Uxbridge, Massachusetts State Representative, Jim McGovern, talked with students and nutrition professions about providing universal free school meals for both breakfast and lunch for all.
Kudos to all involved! These visits are paramount to see and taste the the benefits of universal school meals!