Where’s the Chicken?

Today’s New York Times offers an encouraging report from the cafeteria at the Family Life Academy Charter School in the Bronx, where a professional chef serves small portions of fresh, hot food — no ketchup, no processed foods, no sweets. The kids are devouring it.

School co-founder Francisco Genko-ji Lugoviña pushed for a new menu after reading an ingredient list for foods served in NYC’s schools. He couldn’t find “chicken” in the recipe for a chicken patty. After much planning and fundraising, the school has a renovated kitchen, two assistant chefs, a part-time assistant chef, and an entirely new program run by Bennett Fins.

Fins says kindergartners are the “toughest critics,” but his strategy of investing time to get them to try new things is paying off. Vegetable haters are eating kale. One fan of Fins’ pizza, made with fresh mozzarella and homemade sauce, says, “I would marry pizza if I could.”

The school used to spend $2.82 per child per day on food. Now it spends $2.60.

Read the article here.

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