Chartwells School Dining Services Introduces a School Garden Guide

  Chartwells School Dining Services Introduces a School Garden Guide

Business Wire

RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- November 12, 2012

According to the Journal of American Dietetics, sixth-grade students involved
in a garden-based nutrition education program increased their fruit and
vegetable consumption by 2.5 servings per day, more than doubling their
overall consumption. In addition, a class of fifth-graders who participated in
garden-based lessons scored 15 points higher on science tests than students
who learned in a traditional classroom.

Chartwells School Dining Services believes that school gardens provide an
excellent opportunity to educate students about agriculture, food origin,
nutrition, and core academic subjects, in addition to promoting life-long
healthy eating habits. Because of this belief and the growing popularity and
prevalence of school gardens nationwide, Chartwells is introducing a newly
developed Garden Guide. The Guide is a comprehensive resource for Chartwells
operators, school educators and community members who are interested in
developing and maintaining school gardens.

“School gardens are an exciting way for Chartwells to introduce new, healthy
foods into student’s diets. The gardens also provide an opportunity for
physical activity throughout the day by bringing the classroom outdoors for
hands-on learning,” said Keith Cullinan, President, Chartwells School Dining
Services. “We are proud to provide a Garden Guide that will help food service
operators and other school stakeholders make informed decisions when
implementing school garden programs.”

Developed by Chartwells’ Nutrition & Sustainability team, the guide provides
step-by-step support for implementing a school garden and is divided into the
following four sections:

  *Starting a Garden
    This section leads food service operators through all the steps of
    starting a garden project, including obtaining approval from school
    officials, creating a budget and developing a garden design.
  *Safety and Sanitation in Gardens
    This section includes specific instructions on creating a Food Safety Plan
    for a school garden, including growing conditions and production tips,
    worker health and sanitation guidelines, containers and equipment care,
    transport and delivery and produce washing instructions.

  *Harvesting and Serving Garden Produce in Schools
    In collaboration with food safety experts, this section includes a set of
    procedures and steps that must be carried out prior to serving any food
    from the school garden in the cafeteria with a specific concentration on
    food harvest, recovery and produce storage.

  *Chartwells Protocol for Garden Produce in School Meals
    This section outlines the paperwork requirements, approvals and
    certifications that must be met and obtained before embarking upon a
    school garden project.

To date, numerous Chartwells schools have developed and are currently
maintaining a school garden and the company expects to see a growing number of
inquiries as the school gardening trend continues.

“We have had a school garden for a few years now and it is exciting to see how
more and more students want to be involved in gardening,” said Marcia
Servatius, Chartwells Director of Dining Services at Ottawa School District in
Kansas, “Not just here at school, but growing their own gardens at home and in
the community.”

Bringing the School Garden Concept Indoors

A Chartwells school based in Tiverton, Rhode Island, is taking the school
garden concept one step further with an “Edible Schoolyard Project” that
educated children on the benefits of vegetables and the USDA’s new MyPlate
icon. The edible schoolyard lessons were conducted for five second grade
classes at two elementary schools in the local area and were presented by
Chartwells nutritionist, Nancy Roberts and Chartwells executive chef, Jeff
Simbro.

During the sessions, Roberts presented the students with various vegetables
and plants and explained their nutritional values and benefits. During the
lesson, Simbro made a salad featuring each plant and vegetable that the
students were able to taste test afterwards. The students were also sent home
with recipes and a Chartwells MyPlate mini poster to share with their
families.

For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit
www.eatlearnlive.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Chartwells School Dining Services

Chartwells, a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group, provides dining
services for over 550 public school districts and private schools, comprising
over 6000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. For more
information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit
www.eatlearnlive.com.

Contact:

Chartwells School Dining Services
Karen Dittrich, 914-935-5494
Karen.Dittrich@compass-usa.com
 
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