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Lunch is on US(DA): USDA officials to visit MPS kitchens, eat school lunch

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 20, 2016
 
MEDIA CONTACT:
Dirk Tedmon
Media Relations Specialist
612.668.0227
Dirk.Tedmon@mpls.k12.mn.us
 
 
Lunch is on US(DA)
USDA officials to visit MPS kitchens, eat school lunch
 
MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Public Schools’ (MPS’) culinary and wellness efforts are earning national recognition. This Friday, to discover why MPS is the best, Dr. Katie Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, will tour district and school kitchens and join Superintendent Graff for lunch.
 
Every day, the district serves more than 43,000 meals at 73 schools. MPS makes delicious meals without high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors or preservatives. For students to be successful, it’s important for them to not only receive high-quality teaching, but healthy meals, too.
 
Since 2011, MPS has been proudly sourcing fresh produce, meats, baked goods and other products from local farmers and manufacturers for student meals. It’s a win-win — the district supports neighboring farmers and food economies, and kids love the fresh, flavorful food. This “Farm to School” program is a model for serving fresh, sustainably grown, local food in school meals. 
 
In May, MPS released a Farm to School toolkit that describes its Farm to School program and shares the many useful tools, resources and documents that have been developed since the program’s inception. The toolkit provides an overview of how the district purchases and serves fresh produce from small and mid-sized, sustainable farmers in the region.
 
A full schedule of Friday’s events is available below. To learn more about MPS’ culinary and wellness programs, visit nutritionservices.mpls.k12.mn.us
 
Attendees:
  • Dr. Katie Wilson, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
  • Alan Shannon, Public Affairs Director, USDA FNS Midwest Regional Office
  • Ed Graff, Superintendent, MPS
  • Bertrand Weber, Director, Culinary and Wellness Services, MPS
  • Mark Augustine, Operation Manager/Executive Chef, Culinary and Wellness Services, MPS
  • Omar Guevara-Soto, Operation Manager/School Sites, Culinary and Wellness Services, MPS
  • Kate Seybold, Farm to School Coordinator, Culinary and Wellness Services, MPS
  • Michele Carroll, Business Manager, Culinary and Wellness Services, MPS
  • Zachary Robinson, Executive Director, Spark-Y youth action labs
 
9:30         Meet and tour the Culinary Center
                 812 Plymouth Ave. N.
                 Dr. Katie Wilson, Alan Shannon, Bertrand Weber, Mark Augustine
 
10:10      Emerson Spanish Immersion; Pre-pack with salad bar
                 1421 Spruce Place
                 Principal: Aaron Arredondo
                 Enrollment: 511; Free and reduced-price lunch: 79%
                 Dr. Katie Wilson, Alan Shannon, Bertrand Weber, Omar Guevara-Soto
 
10:45      Roosevelt High School; Spark-Y garden
                 4029 28th Ave. S.
                 Principal: Michael Bradley
                 Enrollment: 910; Free and reduced-price lunch: 72%
                 Dr. Katie Wilson, Alan Shannon, Bertrand Weber, Kate Seybold, Zachary Robinson
 
11:20      Howe Elementary; Onsite kitchen, garden-to-cafeteria school
                3733 43rd Ave. S.
                Principal: Kevin Oldenburg
                Enrollment: 186; Free and reduced-price lunch: 49%
                Dr. Katie Wilson, Alan Shannon, Bertrand Weber, Kate Seybold
 
11:55      Webster Elementary; Family-style dining site/lunch
                425 Fifth St. NE
                Principal: Ginger Kranz
                Enrollment: 160; Free and reduced-price lunch: 68%
                Dr. Katie Wilson, Alan Shannon, Superintendent Ed Graff, Bertrand Weber, Michele Carroll
 
1:00        Culinary Center; Q&A
                812 Plymouth Ave. N.
                Dr. Katie Wilson, Alan Shannon, Bertrand Weber
 
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