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Okra's Visits Jennie Dean School

Elementary school students will have healthier menu options Thursday thanks to local involvement in the national 'Chefs Move to Schools' program.

What a way to end the school year. Students at will be able to try something different for lunch Thursday as part of Manassas' participation in the national 'Chefs Move to Schools' program.

Charles Gilliam, , has teamed up with Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) and will be preparing, including Jazzy Chicken Red Beans & Rice, southern Cornbread and Spotted Corn Maque Choux, for lunch at the local elementary school.

created by Gilliam in an effort to get them to eat more vegetables.  The seventh and eighth grade students appeared to really enjoy the new menu options, passing up the normal pizza, fries and chicken nuggets for a taste of the chef's creations.

. According to Mayfield Cafeteria Manager Nancy Potter, 697 of the featured meals were served (about 98% of all meals sold that day).

MCPS obtained grants to support the program and Gilliam's goal was to learn more about what the students liked to eat and extend the program to additional city schools if successful at Metz.

"If this goes well enough, we're going to try and take it to another school in the city... this may take a couple of years but if it goes gangbusters we want it in every school in the city!"

and started in February of 2010 in hopes of solving the ever-growing nationwide childhood obesity problem.

The initiative is currently operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program urges chefs to participate with local schools to help educate children and staff on nutrition.

Erin Gibson June 01, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I was bummed that my daughter who goes to JDS did not want to try the food. She is a picky eater, so this was to be expected. Did anyone have a student, daughter or son who tried the food today? Did they like it?

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