Newton Public Schools announced this week the selection of a new food service provider for our school cafeterias.  Whitsons Culinary Group will begin serving our students in the Fall.

Green Newton School Connections–with the help of parents, educators and students–had advocated strongly for a commitment to sustainability and healthy food in the next food service contract. In a letter to the School Committee in March, GN School Connections stressed the need for sustainability in the school lunch contract, including more fresh and locally sourced ingredients and healthier choices.  They also stressed that the contractor should offer reusable materials that are environmentally friendly when serving the food, improve waste reduction and promote food recovery.

Thanks to all those who voiced themselves, we were pleased that the selection committee took into consideration “their [Whitsons’] commitment to sustainable food and environmental practices” as well as the quality of the food offered. According to Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent and CFAO, Whitsons “proposes to focus on food waste reduction, recycling, and container reuse.”

It is also a good sign that Whitsons has been serving the Wellesley School District, where they participate in the city’s successful food recovery program. We are exploring the possibility of developing a similar program in Newton, by working with the Newton Public Schools, its food service vendor and other non-profits to expand food recovery networks throughout the Greater Boston Area. Having Whitsons as a partner would likely make the introduction of the program in Newton smoother.

We invite everyone to contact the School Committee to express your approval for a service provider dedicated to sustainability and the health of our children. Let the School Committee know that we will hold them accountable for following through on their promises.