What’s on the menu? Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools rolls out fresh cuisine

Published 12:10 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

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Representatives from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district were at Morgan Elementary School last month to discuss changes in the upcoming year.

One of those changes is the Global Eats program for middle-school students.

“This year for our middle schoolers to travel around the world while they are at lunch,” said Katie Willard of Chartwells Schools Dining Services K12, the company that provides food for the school district. “Global Eats is a program that focuses on scratch cooking as well as some items that might be fresh from the garden.”

Willard said that it, as the name Global Eats would suggest, takes an international approach.

“It will focus on different countries around the world like Italy, China, Mexico and India,” Willard said. “We have some really cool new recipes that we developed that will be featured on our menus in middle schools coming up this year.”

They also talked about the relaunch of the Mood Boost program in elementary schools that helps students identify how certain foods can make them feel.

Chartwells Dining Services Vice President of Operations Alicia Crews added, “We bring innovative programs to the cafes to really encourage discovery and experience for our students. They have the opportunity to try new things that they don’t have access to or have just never had the opportunity to try.”

The menu items will feature seasonal recipes.

“We have a lemon herb chicken that will be on the menu in September,” Atwell said. “We have pork loin recipes in October, and then in November, you will see things made with ground beef such as meatloaf.”

Atwell mentioned that those meals would be made in-house, “from scratch.”

Atwell was also on-site to discuss various changes, such as the expansion of the community eligibility program or CEP. There are 16 more CEP schools in Forsyth County this year than last.

“USDA provides us with the tools to determine which of our schools are eligible for the CEP program,” Crews said. “Based on changes through COVID, (with) more families needing assistance through the pandemic, we were able to use those tools and resources through the USDA to qualify those 16 additional sites.”

CEP provides an alternative approach for offering free school meals to school districts and individual schools in low-income areas instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced-price meals.

The program allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, as well as free after-school snacks for those schools that participate.

For the current school year, Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools has 59 schools that will operate under the Community Eligibility Provision.

Among those schools that qualify for CEP are Morgan Elementary School and Clemmons Middle School.