SOURCE: Chartwells School Dining Services

Chartwells School Dining Services

September 06, 2011 15:14 ET

Chartwells School Dining Services Attends Policy Roundtable With USDA to Build Healthier School Meals

SALINAS, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 6, 2011) - Chartwells School Dining Services had the privilege to attend a policy roundtable with the United States Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. Representing Chartwells was Regional Vice President Travis Young and Regional Dietitian Terri Lloyd Jones. The roundtable discussion focused on "Building Healthier School Meals," showcasing ways to increase fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals. The discussion also covered the proposed USDA rules on packaging, distribution, marketing and presentation.

Chartwells highlighted their commitment to healthier school meals by supporting the USDA's proposed regulations on increasing fruits and vegetables in schools. They also demonstrated their leadership by partnering with schools and the produce industry to increase the local purchasing of fruits and vegetables.

Chartwells partners with its school districts to inform and teach the families and students about making better nutritional choices. The Salinas City Elementary School District (ESD) holds Food Service Advisory Council meetings every month, each time visiting a different school and inviting all to attend. At these meetings, they discuss the month's menu and address any inquiries. They also conduct student surveys throughout the year to understand their students' needs. Salinas City ESD school foodservice operators are also planning "future cooking classes," an interactive and hands on activity that will help children learn the value of better food choices.

Associates conduct health activities and provide nutritional information for the students. Schools run a "Sample of the Season" program, in which a fresh local vegetable or fruit is featured, with information on where it is grown and its nutritional value. Chartwells is partnering with local vendors in California, to provide "Farmers Market" days to students next year.

"We serve brown rice instead of white; we use only whole grain or whole wheat products and we serve dark green and orange vegetables and fruits in our salad bars everyday," said Kevin Nelson, Chartwells District Manager. "Salinas is known as the Salad Bowl Capital of the World," said Lori M. Bonica, Director of Dining Services for Salinas City ESD, "We are proud to say that we feature salad bars in all our schools five days a week. Our strawberries are picked one day and on our salad bars the next day."

"In Salinas City ESD, thirty of the top produce companies operate within a few blocks of the schools that Chartwells is fortunate to serve," said Young, "Supporting local agriculture not only supports the business but it support a lot of students' families who work in the industry."

"Our relationship with Chartwells is a true representation of a professional partnership!" said Terry Ryan, Director of Maintenance, Operations, Transportation and Food Service for Salinas City School District.

About Chartwells School Dining Services
Chartwells, a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group provides dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools, comprising over 6,000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit

Contact Information

    Kevin B. Nelson
    District Manager
    Chartwells K-12, West Region
    Phone: 425-788-9487
    email: Email Contact