After sending our information about the changes in the lunch program we have had a number of families and individuals reach out to try to offer recommendations and solutions to help maintain our lunch program. I am very excited and grateful for this assistance. The District continues to pursue new, creative, and exciting opportunities related to our lunch program.
To that end, the District is working with the PTA to form a committee involving all community stakeholders, including parents, staff, students, administration, and local business owners to explore and review our options and develop viable solutions.
We are researching options such as working with local growers and local food service industry representatives, and working with restaurants in short-term and long-term partnerships. We will also revise our RFP to support independent food service providers who work with small, private and parochial schools.
Additionally, the District also has its own garden program that teaches our students about healthy eating by growing herbs and vegetables and learning about their nutritious values. In the fall, students help to make salads and vegetable soup with the garden produce for all of the students in the school. In the spring, our students sell their starter plants to our parents so they can have family gardens. This program is also part of the entire curricula that includes mathematics, science and how cultures throughout the world cultivate food.
These experiences will help us as we continue to work to find solutions to our lunch program.
Beginning October 20, 2012, we will offer our own cold lunch program to allow more time to transition. Our Family and Consumer Science teacher, Mrs. Brennan, has assembled several convenient resources for families to use when planning lunches. She will also work with our student government to develop additional nutritious ideas.
Further, the District has purchased microwaves that our monitors will use to heat up food brought from home. The PTA plans to organize Friday a la carte offerings that Mrs. Kaplan, the PTA president, says will be healthy, tasty and reasonably priced.
The administration will work with the PTA to begin the program in October. The District looks forward to working with the PTA and other interested parties throughout this process. We view this challenging situation as an opportunity to change the equation in a way that harnesses and connects community resources for the benefit of our students.
Further discussion on this important issue will occur at the September 4, 2012, Board of Education meeting at 8 p.m. in the school library.
Questions or comments can be emailed to Mr. Jay Scotto-Friedman, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Support, at firstname.lastname@example.org. or call at (914)-631-2440 ext. 108.