Richmond Public Schools. It was no easy task indeed, but working together as a community, we have dramatically increased the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables our children can choose from at lunchtime. Armed with the mighty spoodle, students across town now serve themselves up strawberries, sweet potatoes,
yellow peppers, spinach, broccoli, blueberries, and almost thirty more options of colorful produce–a gorgeous rainbow right on the cafeteria line. While some students were skeptical or clumsy at first, with the encouragement of cafeteria staff, teachers, and amazing volunteers, thousands of students now enjoy a healthy crunch at lunch that fuels their brain for better learning back in the classroom. We’ve seen kids doing the veggie dance of excitement as they wait their turn in line, kids getting up the courage to try something they’ve never tried before, and even kids licking their salad bowls clean!
Fit4Kids would like to thank the wide range of people who have made Eat Fresh RPS possible: first, Susan Roberson and her dedicated School Nutrition Services staff who were willing to make big changes in their cafeterias; Farm-to-School consultant, Trista Grigsby, for passionately training cafeteria managers on how to successfully run the salad bars; the chefs at the Governor’s Mansion for inspiring school nutrition staff to be food educators; the Richmond City Health District for coordinating the tricky installations of salad bar equipment; Impact 100 for funding this exciting endeavor; and our creative and resilient volunteers who passed out over 40,000 samples and logged over 1,500 hours helping our city’s children choose healthier food! Way to go Eat Fresh RPS!