From mangoes to zucchini, Irving ISD asks students to broaden their taste buds

By Avi Selk, Dallas Morning News, September 27, 2013

Let’s just call the test a success.

Kids in the lunch line got something extra Friday. And while one girl covered her mouth and searched for a trash bin, most of her schoolmates at Brandenburg Elementary wolfed the mango down and liked it.

That was good news for Irving ISD’s nutrition chief Michael Rosenberger, who paced the cafeteria on the first day of a campaign to slip new fruits and veggies into students’ diets.

One day a month for the rest of the year, every student in the district will be offered a new fruit or vegetable cup at lunch. The Sample Something New campaign starts out easy with mango but ramps up to squash and zucchini by the spring — a prospect that had at least one cafeteria worker nervous.

Besides exposing the district’s 28,500 low-income students to healthier diets than they might get at home, the campaign doubles as a taste test. The most popular fruits and vegetables might end up in the regular lunch lineup.

Read more here.

All Dallas ISD students will now get free breakfast and lunch

By Matthew Haag, Dallas Morning News, October 1, 2013

Every Dallas ISD student will be able to eat meals at school for free, the district announced Tuesday.

The district got approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which manages the free and reduced school meals program, to let all DISD students no longer have to pay. The change is expected to save the district money by eliminating about 40 temporary positions and reducing paperwork.

“It’s a wonderful benefit,” said Dora Rivas, DISD’s executive director of food and child nutrition services. “It’s about paperwork and efficiencies, but I think the biggest winners in this are going to be students.”

Read more here.

Feeding the Hungry

It is egregiously shameful that in this country of economic and agricultural abundance nearly 50 million citizens and their children go to bed hungry, not having eaten properly during the day nor secured the necessary food nutrients that will keep them well and prevent premature death.  Click here to read.