Charlottesville City Schools’ healthy meals earn state honors

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:05 PM EDT

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Homemade meals and fresh produce can now be found in Charlottesville schools’ cafeterias.

Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) has earned state honors for meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re actually tasting items that they picked out, we cook them, allow them to taste them, and then on our menus in the fall it’s going to say student choice on the menu,” Nutrition Coordinator Carlton Jones said. “So they have selected some healthy options, and we’re working with them and I really feel that that’s one of the best ways to have more students eat, is by having student input.”

Student help comes from Food Cultivate Charlottesville.

“We have food interns that we’ve been speaking with. Right now, we’re doing food tastings with the interns and they’re actually sampling items, items getting added to the menu,” Jones said.

The food they are sampling is all homemade.

“Those are scratch made items, yes,” Jones said. “Nothing prepared for those items. and that was one of the things for the award that we highlighted, that we were working with those students.”

“The movement around healthy food has been going on for a while and is something that I just hope to continue gaining momentum,” Kim Powell with CCS said. “The efforts to continue feeding students healthy school meals during the pandemic, we mobilized in less than a week to do that.”

During the pandemic, CCS provided free lunches to students through bus routes.

“These buses would go on different routes throughout the community. Stop and walk up, grab a meal, and you know we did it every day since,” Jones said.

All CCS student lunches this year will still be free. Students can show up to the cafeteria, pick up their homemade meal, and leave without paying.

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