Charles Barrett Elementary School, one of eight in the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) system, launched the first “Greens & More Bar” last October. ACPS plans to implement Greens & More Bars at all elementary schools in the district as part of grant-funded program.
Now every Barrett student who goes through the lunch line is served a hot entrée and then steps over to the Greens & More Bar to select whichever fruits and vegetables they wish. Although some students opt only for the vegetable or juice in the lunch line, most head to the salad bar to load up on fresh options. Barrett cafeteria manager, Dawn Lendino, says right now kids prefer fruits over vegetables with their favorite items being apple and orange slices, cucumbers and lettuce.
Real Food for Kids Alexandria assisted ACPS with the rollout of Greens & More by building excitement for the launch. Students decorated empty walls outside the cafeteria with vegetable-themed drawings and during the first week the bar was open, parents helped students acclimate to the new process, such as reminding them to sanitize their hands and how to use utensils correctly and hygienically. But most fun was the student incentive – RFFK Alexandria promised that if all students tried the salad bar, their principals would dress up as vegetables!
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