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Sunday, March 11, 2012

School Lunch Discussion

There has been a lot of discussion about how good and good tasting our school lunches are. I received the following email a few weeks back:

On behalf of the Eat Smart Move More York County volunteer group, I am writing you today to request an opportunity to have input into the RFP for the new food service for Rock Hill School District #3 schools before it gets sent out. It is important that healthy food choices continue to be a top priority in the RHSD#3 school food service. 

 Eat Smart Move More York County [ESMMYC] thinks that RHSD#3 needs to obtain and weigh all the costs and values of healthy food options (e.g., fresh vegetables & fruits, instead of highly processed, pre-packaged foods) on the front end so the healthy option is not perceived as too expensive or as an add-on to the the initial contract proposals. After the RFPs are received, we don't want the food vendors to say "if you want something healthier, then it will cost you". We want them to know that this is what we want for our students in the initial request so they sharpen their pencils and give us a proposal with healthy options as the main focus of changing vendors (not just cost-saving considerations). 

 ESMMYC also hopes that RHSD#3 writes into the RFP that they will not base their decision solely on cost of services and they reserve the right to award the contract based on the array of healthy food options for our students. If RHSD#3 has to spend a little more on the front end for nutritious food by placing the health and nutrition of our youth first -- instead of just looking at the cost to feed the students -- it is definitely worth it. Setting the priority to feed RHSD#3 students the healthy options now, we all will avoid paying dearly later for their long term health problems. 

 Finally, ESMMYC partnering organizations teach a wonderful (free) curriculum called "Families Eating Smart & Moving More", whose nutrition principles it would be great for the new RHSD#3 food service to promote actively, along with the rest of the school district (including School Improvement Councils) and all PTOs. 

 Thanks very much for your consideration.

Certainly, contract time is when you should set expectations.....and with only 65% of our students eating lunch, there is plenty of room for improvement. The video below shows what on school district is doing:

Click here for a link to the video. Click here for an article which goes with the video.

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