FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 20, 2016
Media Relations Specialist
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.
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