The Ludlow Public School system is partnering up with Chicopee Fresh, a locally-based program that intends to provide healthy, nutritious, and fresh foods to K-12 public school students nationwide.
“I am very excited about this program,” says school committee member Chip Harrington. “It not only introduces more healthy options for our students, but it also supports local farmers looking to get their product out to market.”
Ludlow schools will start to receive fresh food in September, 2016.
Chicopee Fresh believes that most current school lunches are unhealthy, nutrient-deficient, and not fresh. This program plans to make a change. They hope to have a creative seasonal menu that focuses more on health and wellness.
“I think that this is a great program,” says cafeteria worker Tracy LaFever from Ludlow High School, but she expressed concern that some of the fresh food might be wasted.
The lunch ladies are required to serve fruit, vegetables, and milk at every lunch. Some of this ends up in the trash.
“I think it can be a waste of fresh fruit especially,” she said. “Working in the cafeteria I see this everyday. It seems as if we’re forcing it upon the student’s and they just throw it away. It kind of stinks seeing the food go to waste,” says LaFever. “Kids are going to eat what they want, especially because it’s high school.”
But LaFever said that Chicopee Fresh might offer better quality food and there won’t be as much waste.
She and Harrington would like to see more salads offered.
“I would like to see a more expanded salad bar offered at the middle school and the high school. I think if given the choice, most of our students would take advantage of a well stocked salad bar.”
Elementary students have limited options compared to the high school. Students can either purchase a hot lunch or bring a lunch from home. At Ludlow High Schools students can buy a salad or a hot lunch. They also have ala carte and deli options.
Students are happy to hear that the school lunches will finally be changing to something healthier and tastes better.