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    School Lunch! Did You Know?
    Posted on 10/23/2017
    Image of salad bar

    Farm to Table! 

    This Monday, we are going to take you along for the ride from farm to central kitchen to our schools. Many dedicated and caring people make sure all of our students are fed nutritious meals.

    Seattle Public Schools (SPS) sources fruit, vegetables, and dairy from more than two dozen local farms and farms across the state. Sourcing foods so close to the district means they that arrive to our central kitchen quickly and efficiently. Less travel time means less carbon emissions from trucks. Sourcing locally also means the district and taxpayers, like you, are supporting local farmers, local workers, and the local economy.

    All of the district’s farm-sourced food is collected and sorted by long time SPS partner Duck Delivery of Washington. Duck Delivery is a family-owned produce distributor based in Sumner, WA.

    After arriving at the district’s central kitchen, staff clean, slice, dice, and prep every piece of fruit and every vegetable before serving them as part of a nutritious breakfast, lunch, or snack to more than 20,000 students, across the district, every day. Central kitchen staff also prep and package all the fixings for school salad bars and use them as ingredients in many “made from scratch” meals. 

    Central kitchen staff regularly create “made from scratch meals” to ensure nutritious quality and to provide kids with meals they enjoy. Each of our “made from scratch” meals is student tested and student approved and each is packaged ready for school staff to reheat and serve. 

    All food and meals prepared at the central kitchen are placed inside rolling containers and trucked to individual schools early each morning. Schools also request specific food items from the central kitchen that are included inside the bins. School cafeteria staff then finish preparing food and reheat meals for students. 

    “The kids trust me… they know I’m not going to feed them anything that’s bad for them,” says Arbor Heights Elementary lunchroom manager Alex Alicea. “They see another kid taste it and then they try it.”

    By law, school lunchroom managers must make sure students who buy school lunch have at least a half cup of fruits or vegetables with two full food components, like a portion of grain or protein, on their tray. One trick of the trade lunchroom managers use to encourage kids to eat more fruit and vegetables is to praise students who choose an apple or pear and more broccoli or spinach to inspire others to do the same. 

    Eliminating Opportunity Gaps

    As a school district, we recognize the important connection between a healthy diet and student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school. Providing access for all students to a hot, nutritious, and delicious lunch is also part of the district’s goal of eliminating opportunity gaps and creating an equitable educational experience for all students.

    For the staff who make our students’ meals, they are dedicated to their craft and nothing makes them happier than knowing every child has access to a healthy meal while in the district’s care.
    Here is more information on the district’s Nutrition Services Department, including information on our Free and Reduced Lunch Program.


    Try One of Our School Meals

    If you have a student who has not tried a school meal in a while or not at all… TRY IT! We are convinced you will love the great food our staff prepares and we have a wide range of choices day to day, including egg & cheese muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt parfait with homemade granola, and much more for breakfast and burritos, hamburgers, pizza, chicken nuggets, tuna melts, beef and broccoli, soup, BBQ, fresh salads, vegetables, fruit, milk, and much more for lunch.