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  • Chartwells School Dining Services Celebrates National School Lunch Week With Its Chefs-2-Schools Culinary Education Program

    RYE BROOK, NY (October 15, 2012) - This is an exciting time for Chartwells School Dining Services, a major foodservice provider for over 550 public school districts and private schools nationwide. With new school meal requirements for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program recently issued by the USDA, Chartwells celebrates National School Lunch Week (NSLW) from October 15-19, 2012 in an effort to promote the benefits of healthy school lunches.

    The 2012 NSLW campaign theme -- "School Lunch - What's Cooking" -- puts a spotlight on the healthy foods and positive changes that Chartwells schools are incorporating into its menus. The new USDA school meal requirements are the first significant changes in more than 15 years and Chartwells school dining centers are adhering to these changes by:

    --  Offering both fruits and vegetables with every meal
    --  Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods
    --  Providing only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties
    --  Ensuring proper portion sizes
    --  Reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium

    As a USDA National Strategic Partner, Chartwells promotes nutrition through its very own Chefs-2-Schools(R) program, which leverages the talents and expertise of its chefs in order to deliver healthy nutrition messages in a fun and appealing way to students. Under Chefs-2-Schools, guest chefs 'adopt' a local school district and make planned visits in an effort to focus on healthy meals and educate students about sound eating habits and food preparation. The Chefs-2-Schools program also incorporates classroom activities, local farm events, hands-on cooking classes, family food and fun nights, student council meetings and wellness or youth advisory committees.

    Recently, students at Morningside Elementary (TX) got a nutrition lesson from Chartwells' chefs Ralph Garcia and Mario Perez. As part of the Chefs 2 Schools initiative, the chefs led Pre-K and kindergarten students in "food art" creations and taught the students how many fruits and vegetables they should eat with each meal. They demonstrated the benefits of fruits and vegetables as well as other ways to "eat, learn and live healthy."

    Another exciting event took place recently in Fort Lee (NJ) public schools, when Chef Peter Day, executive chef at Morrison Management Specialists, joined Chartwells to launch Chefs-2-Schools in the district. The theme of the event was a lesson on the benefits of whole grains. Before the tasting, Chef Day shook hands with eager student participants who were excited to meet a chef in person. Chef Day promoted his motto, "Try what you've never tried before." Chartwells plans to feature a mix of tastings, demonstrations, classroom visits and other events to engage minds and challenge taste buds in the future.

    Chartwells is proud to celebrate National School Lunch Week with the schools it serves. The Chef-2-Schools program demonstrates what's cooking at school and gives students valuable life-long lessons in culinary arts and nutrition awareness. The lessons will teach the importance of well-balanced meals and healthy food choices.

    For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit www.eatlearnlive.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    About Chartwells School Dining Services
    Chartwells, a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group provides dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools, comprising over 6,000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit www.eatlearnlive.com.

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    Ayde Lyons Chartwells School Dining Services Phone: 914-935-5320 email: ayde.lyons@compass-usa.com

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