CHESTER, Vt. – The kitchen staff is looking forward to beginning another fun year of providing nutritious meals to all of the students and staff of Chester Andover Elementary School. This year will begin with the return of School Year’s Eve Tuesday evening with classes beginning Wednesday, Aug. 29.
As in years past, I am working very hard to increase our purchasing of fresh local foods. We are still building our Farm to School programs. One aspect is the Harvest of the Month program we offer each month. This program is brought to the children with the help of Food Connects, a distributor of goods from local farmers throughout the area. Each month we highlight a local food in a taste test during lunch service. The kids look forward each month to this event. Some of the items we purchase from Food Connects are fruits and vegetables, local grass fed ground beef, and so on.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program will be offered again this school year. This is a program that is offered by the Child Nutrition Programs of Vermont whereas we offer fresh fruits and veggies during non-meal time hours to the students at no cost. We have offered this for many years now and it is an incredible program. It allows us to introduce a healthy snack to the kids as well as introducing them to new types of fruit and veggies. As always we still offer our salad bar daily with every meal.
This year we plan on expanding our recycle programs to include composting. Last year we pretty much ceased the use of any paper products with the exception of napkins of course. I eliminated paper plates and portion control packets such as mayo, mustard, and ketchup. We plan to explore the elimination of the plastic straws.
New this year we hope will be our composting program of all food scraps. We are currently in the process of setting up a compost program district-wide. As we all may or may not know, in two years we will not be allowed to place any food scraps in our dumpsters. We are attempting to be a bit proactive in having a program in place well before the deadline. We have been working with a company called Grow Compost Vermont; please check out their website, www.growcompostvermont.com. They offer training, pick-up of food scraps, even field trips to their facility for the children to allow them to see what happens to the food scraps.
I have posted menus on our website so feel free to check them out. Please call me anytime with any questions or concerns you may have. Kitchen phone is 802-875-6850 or Jack’s cellphone 802-952-9133.
Written by Jack Carroll and kitchen staff.