People like you who are interested in strengthening the resilience of our region
It all started with a simple idea: to see if school children will actually eat fresh foods, rather than the institutional fare that school kitchens typically serve. To test the idea, the "Farm to School" project of the non-profit Ecotrust partnered up with Portland's Abernethy Elementary in 2005, embarking on a semester-long trial run of sustainable lunches -- beginning with a kitchen renovation and new chef.
This was a place where school lunches mattered: 43 percent of students in Portland are eligible for subsidized meals, so school lunches can have a big impact on a student's daily nutrition.
With Ecotrust's help, Abernathy Elementary dished up a comprehensive food program, including a school garden, classroom lesson plans around a vegetable of the month, and lunches made with predominately local foods. The food was all cooked on-site, from scratch, with no transfats allowed. Not only were kids eating significantly higher amounts of produce than their counterparts in other area schools, but the average lunch actually cost $.05 less than the frozen fare typically offered.