Aramark has partnered with school districts throughout the country to provide students with healthy, nutritious meals, as well as an understanding of how their meals are prepared and sourced. Supporting the School Nutrition Association's theme of "School Lunch – Let's Grow Healthy," a number of Aramark partner school districts will celebrate National School Lunch Week, Oct. 10 to 14, by promoting locally sourced fruits and vegetables and hosting events that engage students in making healthy food choices.
" Aramark is committed to providing fresh fruits and vegetables on our school menus and to encouraging children to try new, healthier foods," said Linda Sceurman, R.D. and director of nutrition and menu development for Aramark Education. "Through farm-to-school programs, many of our school district partners are helping children learn good eating habits, while also supporting their local communities."
Aramark 's Locally Grown program is a farm-to-school initiative that raises awareness about sustainable agriculture and local sourcing. Many school districts are utilizing the program to encourage students to eat their fruits and vegetables and to learn more about where the items on their tray originate. Program elements include:
Inviting local farmers into schools to display their produce while providing children with a view of life on a farm
Offering fun side dishes that feature fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables served in kid-friendly ways including: zucchini and summer squash veggie sticks, cucumber coins, and grape tomatoes from local farms and orchards
Utilizing school gardens and green houses to promote sustainability, while involving students in the process of planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables
Offering fruit and veggie bars in school cafes to increase children's interest in healthy foods
Featuring a "Fruit of the Day" and "Veggie of the Day" as tasty, healthy meal choices
Offering samples of fruits and veggies with dips and sauces to encourage students to try fruits and vegetables
Using colorful menu icons to alert students to the locally grown fruits and vegetables being served.