Are your children eating pink slime or yellow die #5, a derivative of coal tar, in their school lunches? Not if they attend School District 11. On Wednesday April 18, District 11’s Food & Nutrition ServicesDirector, Rick Hughes and Administrative Dietitian, Jamie Humphrey,will share the journey they began in 2008 to serve students and staff foods that contribute to a good life.
District 11 serves 24,000 meals a day that feature fresh fruits and vegetables, use whole grains, are “natural” or “whole,” and are “from the earth” and “good for the earth” with minimal packaging. That means that they don’t use foods associated with growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial dyes, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils or added sugars. As of January 2012, they eliminated all highly processed foods from School District 11 menus. School District 11’s efforts have also resulted in benefit to the local economy – more than $650,000 in food purchases went to Colorado Springs businesses in 2011.
“I find District 11’s food service achievements impressive because they’re making big cultural shifts within a large institutional system while bound by significant financial constraints,” says City Sustainability Coordinator Carrie McCausland. “They’re being recognized around the nation and I think sharing their journey can provide insights to others in our locale who want to make big steps forward.”
The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12: 49 p.m., at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada, in Suite 102. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. In celebration of Earth Month, the first two-dozen attendees will receive “breakfast rounds” made by District 11’s catering services. Those who come also have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from reused City banners.
Each month, the City Office of Innovation and Sustainability sponsors a lunch-n-learn topic on an environmental issue.