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August 5, 2010

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MRH Food Service Continues Improvements

As the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District enters the second year of the Healthy Eating with Local Produce program, students who return to school this fall will notice many new changes on the menu. Plus, middle and high school students will see changes in how the food is served.

The H.E.L.P. program, or farm-to-table program, enters the second of three years in which the district will be replacing many processed, frozen, and canned foods with locally grown, fresh produce through a partnership with Saint Louis University, the Missouri Farmers’ Union, and Sappington Farmers Market. Last year saw the introduction of several new foods, but this year, the menu has been transformed.

Through the innovative program, SLU nutrition and dietetics students and interns will prepare the local produce for the lunches in a converted industrial kitchen at the Salus Center. By the end of the three-year grant, at least 25 percent of the food the district serves will come from local farmers.

MRH high school student ambassadors also have been intricately involved in the program. They are spending much of their summer interning in the department of nutrition and dietetics where they learned about local gardening, food reparation and healthy eating. In addition, they’ve been making food and testing recipes for future lunches. Read about their experiences on their blog.

As part of a larger greening effort in the district, students in the middle and high school will no longer be eating with or on disposable materials. Real plates and silverware will be used and washed to decrease the amount of waste generated in the cafeteria.

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.