The partnership will allow Seattle Public Schools to serve made-from-scratch meals in its cafeterias for the first time.
The project is possible because of a $100,000 federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, said SPS Nutrition Services Director Eric Boutin. It's tied to Mayor Mike McGinn's Let's Move! program—launched yesterday—which seeks to end childhood obesity. (Note: this is First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! project.)
Nearly one-quarter of Seattle students in eighth, 10th, and 12th grades are overweight, with rates for Hispanic and African-Americans being even higher. I asked Boutin whether SPS had banned trans fats, preservatives, refined flour, high-fructose corn syrup, white bread, generic hot dogs and hamburgers, and extremely salty foods.
"We did get rid of some of them—we still have some frozen food, but there are lots of things we do from scratch," he said.
This is great but like many things, what happens when the outside money goes away? Can the district sustain this? I thought most cafeterias don't cook the food; it is only created at the district kitchens. Our new Nutrition Manager sure isn't letting any grass grow under his feet.