Our School Food Evolution
Great students run on great food — and Central Park is redefining what great school food means!
Here at Central Park, we are committed to equity and justice for all, from our students here in Durham to people around the globe. In order to sustain our commitment to holistic learning, we are embarking on a journey of delicious discovery to support student growth and success through a new approach to school food.
A school meal program that feeds students’ minds and bodies. We continue to strive to:
- Develop and sustain a model nutrition program supporting our school's mission of nurturing and developing the whole child.
- Offer healthful lunches with delicious, fresh, local foods to help all of our students gain the benefits of excellent nutrition.
- Bring together students and staff around food, while learning more about what healthy foods look and taste like.
We are proud of the success of the lunch program over the last few years. Our program has been nationally recognized for its innovation and focus on whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, and freshly prepared entrees, with minimal processed foods. We were sponsored by The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and presented at the 2017-18 National Conference for the School Nutrition Association, highlighting our large array of, and commitment to inclusion of, vegan offerings. Most importantly, the students enjoy the food! During the 2018-19 school year, we served over 31,000 lunches. That was our third year as a part of the National School Lunch program, and CPSC received close to $70,000 that year in reimbursement funds to help offset the cost to the school of providing student lunches.
We continue to benefit from a nutrition director with over 30 years of school food service, who oversees our programs and ensures that we maintain support for a triple bottom line: people (our students, staff, farmers, producers), planet (from Durham to the world), and budget (paying our chefs, catering staff, farmers, and producers equitably within the confines of USDA school meal reimbursement — yes, it can be done).
We’re again working with a local chef and caterer, Ashlyn Smith of Spicy Green Gourmet, utilizing delicious recipes that support student growth and protect the planet. Spicy Green is committed to 100% whole-grain rich foods, no artificial food dyes, and locally sourced foods when feasible. Spicy Green is excited to provide us with delicious daily meals, including tasty vegetarian, vegan and other hot lunch options.
We’re still supported by nutrition and research professionals to expand our commitment to good food at lunch and throughout the school day.
And we’re working with you, Central Park families, to make this happen. Thank you for your trust in serving your children! Questions? Contact our Nutrition Coordinator, Nadine Blake, at email@example.com or 919-682-1200 x251.