I am a long-time fan of Green Bay Area (WI) Public School District Food Service Department and Registered Dietitian Sara Schmitz, their Quality Assurance Specialist. Sara and the district first came to my attention when I was writing Making It Happen: Nutrition Success Stories in 2004. Green Bay Food Service Department takes nutrition seriously – as you see on their Nutrition Secrets page. They have become leaders in school gardening as well, by showcasing what can be done in a far northern climate with indoor growing stations, outdoor cold frames, and mini-hoop greenhouses.
This summer they are really rocking with new summer feeding lunch packs. Check out the Michigan apples, local zucchini slices (in season), and the lean beef stick made by a local meat market – all beef, very lean, made without nitrates or nitrites, and low in sodium! Most importantly, the Green Bay Public Schools Summer Feeding Program serves 2,000 to 2,400 children per day at 44 sites (27 parks, 8, schools, and 9 community locations). These are children who rely on school meals during the school year, so these nutrient-rich summer lunch packs are essential for their health and nutrition when school is out.
I believe that this Green Bay, Wisconsin, meal showcases what school nutrition programs are doing so well across the country. Producing nutrient-rich meals for kids in need - creatively using the limited funding available to gradually move toward the freshest, healthiest, and most local items possible.
Kudos to every lunch lady and gentleman working hard to make these meals happen!!