Parent-led committee seeks healthier school meals
(Mountain XPress) Misty Miller wants your children to eat better. The parent and PTO vice president at Hall Fletcher Elementary has been working since November 2013 with Brian Good, owner and chef at Asheville Sandwich Co., to form a nutrition steering committee in cooperation with Asheville City Schools that would promote healthier, more nutritious, safer and tastier foods for students in the district. “My son, Liam, who is in third grade, came into third grade a struggling reader, so writing was certainly not his forte,” Miller told Xpress. “One of the first weeks of school, his teacher asked him to write a letter to anyone he wanted to. He wrote to our principal, [Gordon Grant]: ‘Dear Ph.D Grant, I would like to know if we could get healthier food in the lunch room’ and then proceeded to say why he wanted healthier food in the lunch room, not for himself, because we pack lunches, but for his friends who eat lunch in the lunch room and have a hard time learning after lunch. “When I got that, I realized that this was my 9-year-old’s way of advocating for his friends and it really spoke to me.” The ACS Nutrition Steering committee, composed of parents from Asheville City Schools, dietitians, local chefs and Beth Palien, nutrition director for ACS, has an end goal of getting 90 percent of fruits and vegetables from local sources, professionally trained kitchen staff, no artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors in foods and other health-conscious goals within federal guidelines.
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