PCSD School Food
To whom it may concern,
EATS Park City has had our finger on the pulse of the Park City School District’s (PCSD) nutrition program for the last 6 years. What started as the community raising concerns in 2013, snowballed into EATS’ Hungry for Healthy Campaign in 2016. With EATS leading the charge, at a school board meeting, community members made their voices heard and demanded change.
After much discussion, the Park City School District began working to eliminate unnecessary ingredients with the 15 TO CLEAN initiative, and in 2018, under the leadership of Child Nutrition Program Director RJ Owen, decided to pursue a more sustainable course. Working one school at a time, the menu is transitioning to more scratch made items. EATS Park City is pleased by and supportive of the efforts by the CNP to improve school nutrition in the Park City School District.
By the end of this school year in ALL elementary schools (with the understanding that secondary schools will follow after) you can expect to see:
- Improved, appealing salad bars – 4-5 veggies options and 2-3 whole or diced fruit
- +25 new housemade menu items added (with no 15 TO CLEAN ingredients)
- Food waste and costs minimized by offering half sandwiches
- Trix yogurt/muffin combo eliminated – replaced with Kodiak Cake and Greek Yogurt
- Pizza served twice per month vs every week
- American cheese, corn dogs, and Craisins eliminated
- Increased full-time, benefited CNP staff (happy lunch ladies!)
The more we learn the dynamics of public school food service, the more we are impressed with the new director’s execution of our shared vision. Everyone has a different idea of “healthy” and what that means for them and their children, EATS defines healthy as: Minimally processed, single-ingredients with an emphasis on fresh, whole, quality plant foods, meats/proteins, natural fats and whole grains. When possible, foods should be grown and prepared without artificial substances or processes, and organic and locally sourced.
Now, let’s touch briefly on the burning topics in the community that we are NOT discussing today: recess before lunch, longer lunch periods, ingredient lists of all menu items, vegan options, local farm options, organic options, and the list goes on. By no means do we claim that we are at the end of this journey, just at a significant turning point. What we want to do, is let you know what the PCSD is doing, and celebrate that success!
RJ Owens, the CNP Director, researched other school districts who have gone through such a shift in the past. He listened to their advice and adapted it to fit our unique community. This has been a monumental year in the long journey of transition. The PCSD is actively doing what they can to fulfill the community’s requests. What we need now is to show our support and here’s how:
- Come see the food for yourself – Join us for school lunch! And share your thoughts.
- Support through participation (yay, no more packing lunches)!
We are so excited about the changes the PCSD is implementing, and need your support to continue down the path to ensure ALL students have access to delicious, nutritious food.
EATS Board and Advisors