School Cafeterias Say yes to Homemade Meals

New York Times-Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to the Cafeteria by Kirk Johnson

I love this article for several reasons.  First, this article looks at the schools making a valiant effort to create healthy, cost-effective and made from scratch meals for students.  Second, the schools discussed in this article are located in Colorado, my home state!

There are so many great points made in this article.  The first and I think the most empowering point is that schools don’t have to go from providing zero meals made from scratch to all meals made from scratch.  The Greeley schools discussed in this article are starting out with about 75% of all their meals being made from scratch and hoping to be at 100% by next year.   I think this should take stress off of public schools who are already stretched thin on funds and support for moving in the direction of making meals from scratch.  Starting even at at least 50% is a great start; it is all about the first step forward after all.

The second great point that this article made was that making meals from scratch does not always mean more expensive.  The article mentions in the second paragraph that 60% of students in the Greeley school district qualify for free or reduced price meals.  Later in the article Kirk Johnson writes “going back to [meals made from] scratch would not cost more at all, but could in fact save the district money in the long run.”  This can happen from a combination of grants being awarded to school districts from nonprofit groups, federal reimbursement rules that apply to poorer schools and the deep discounts that schools are able to receive from purchasing food items in bulk.

The article ends with an optimistic glimpse of healthy eating habits permeating the local community.  Happy students taking their healthy eating practices home and encouraging family members to eat similarly.  Families sharing recipes and a new vigor for healthy lifestyles.  Lovely right? Check out the article.

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