Grass Fed Beef in NYC Schools: Building the Foundation for School Food Change One Success at a Time

  • October 25, 2010

by Mark Bishop, deputy director

Sometimes a piece of information comes across your inbox and you can’t help but get excited. The other day I received an email discussing a recent success in the New York City public schools’ food program and I needed to share it.

First, a bit of background. School Food Focus is a great organization (HSC is a member) that works with the largest school districts in the US to improve their school food. One discussion that took place over at School Food Focus honed in on how to get better beef into schools, and how to do so cost effectively. Well, on October 14, this goal came to fruition in one school district: New York City Public Schools. To quote from Chef Jorge Collazo, the head of the NYC school food program:

I just wanted to share that on October 14, we offered a delicious Grass Fed Bolognese Sauce over whole grain pasta in 18 of our schools city wide. We rounded out the menu with roasted Capri vegetable blend with chick peas, cumin, garlic and sautéed onions and peppers. I was in PS 83 in Manhattan and we served over 700 kids and they loved it. Ken Jaffe, the owner of Slope Farms in Meredith, NY, was present and he was besieged with autograph requests from the kids (“the farmer…the farmer!!”).

These are the successes that frequently fall below the radar screen of our media. But these are also the successes that build the foundation of real school food change. Improving school food isn’t easy; but with creative thinkers, better funding, and the help of some autograph-signing farmers, perhaps we can make Grass Fed Bolognese Sauce the norm.