I heard Lowell offers a Dinner Program, where and what can you tell us about it?
Lowell Public Schools is currently providing 8 sites this school year in our Dinner Program. We serve the 21st Century programs & two Lowell Housing Authority programs Monday through Thursday. The food service team has completed 4 site visits for the Bartlett, Stoklosa, Freshman Academy and the Morey Schools.
They are mandated by the Department of Education to complete site reviews 3 times during the school year that are being served for the Child and Adult Care program.
Above is the menu that was posted to the schools that are participating in the Dinner Program this year. We send out new menus every month to the staff members. Throughout the Dinner Program, they ask for feedback from the sites as well to see what the kids are eating, or not really enjoying. Since the program has been running for a full month now, we have heard positive feedback from the staff that the children love the new menu and options are being providing this year.
The chart below shows the sites/enrollment/average daily attendance/service days and monthly meal count totals. In September, we had the Morey school site providing meals for the last week; we served a total of 683 meals. In October there were 15 days of providing meals to all the program sites and had a total of 7,092 meals served. In November, they had 12 days of providing meals to all program sites and had a total of 6,810 meals served.
Can You explain some other Program that the School Dept. offers the students?
· The New England Dairy and Food Council have been supporting Lowell Public Schools with their Fuel Up to Play 60 grants over the past few years. As an effort to help increase breakfast participation and introduce smoothies into the breakfast programs, the Butler and Sullivan Middle Schools have been awarded a total of $3,000! In May 2015 the grant was awarded and the Food and Nutrition Department began the preparation to enhance the breakfast programs for the start of SY 2015/2016. A day of sampling different flavors was designed to get students involved in picking their favorite smoothie flavors to be served as part of their reimbursable breakfast.Previous years we were awarded over $6,000 to LHS and Pyne for new breakfast carts and smoothie programs.
· We are proud to announce that the Lowell Public Schools Food and Nutrition Department is now adding local, grown produce into the menu cycle to all schools. We have been working with Farmlogix, a 3rd party organization that ARAMARK has partnered with, designed to connect local farms to schools. Carrot sticks were the pilot vegetable in September and as the school year continues we have had local tomatoes, apples, kale, butternut squash and some IQF corn and green beans! ( IQF stands for individually quick frozen)
· 2015.16 implemented Massachusetts Farm to School’s Harvest of the Month program is designed to promote different locally grown produce, highlighting a specific vegetable each month. The goal of the program is to increase the exposure of students’ to seasonal foods.. Monthly promotional materials are provided to serve as an educational tool specific to each harvest of the month. Sampling of the monthly vegetable and taste testing with new recipes was piloted at the Murkland Elementary School, Daley Middle School and Lowell High School; continuing to add on one or two elementary schools to our sampling cycle each month.( This is a direct result of CEP: No chasing parents/schools for balances, and the whole application process)
· Monthly newsletter with highlights of the program, upcoming specials, recipes and nutrition education
· School Dish is an online resource that we have been building since the start of the school year as a way to communicate menus, nutrition education and cafeteria program information. The direct link (http://lowell.schooldish.com/) can be found on the Lowell Public Schools main website making it easier for parents and staff of the district to access menus, nutrition information, specials, and wellness information. Since the launch of this website, menus have been uploaded and the Nutrition Calculator now compares different menu items side by side; just as if you were comparing Nutrition Facts Labels in a grocery store! We have been updating this site to promote our Harvest of the Month dates, share recipes and feedback from our samples and to showcase our recent local, fresh produce purchases.
· Voice of the customer survey at LPS and Daley schools resulting in changes. See flyer below
· In depth voice of the customer survey coming in Feb to all middle and High school ( has been in place for 5 years) and changes/ enhancements have resulted from the data collected
· Aramark has donated over $300,00 in health and wellness grants to the LPS community over the last 6 years