SOURCE: Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality

Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality

October 06, 2011 21:28 ET

Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality Expands Farm-to-School Program to $2.5 Million in Local Produce

Chicago Public Schools Students Visit Apple Orchard in Celebration of National Farm-to-School Month

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Oct 6, 2011) - Chicago Public Schools (CPS) through its primary food provider, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, announces the largest farm-to-school program in the Midwest, with more than $2.5 million in fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from regional producers and growers. Cristina Foods, Inc., a distribution partner of Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, has been instrumental in the expansion of the farm-to-school program at CPS. During the 2010-2011 school year, thirty-five percent of produce supplied to Chartwells-Thompson came from local sources. Last year, $2 million in produce was purchased from local farms.

On Wednesday, October 5th, Chartwells-Thompson and Cristina Foods collaborated to take 22 students from Canter Middle School in Chicago to visit Riveridge Produce, an orchard in Sparta, Mich. "Not only have we expanded the value of our local purchases by working with Cristina Foods, but we've also introduced new varieties, such as six different types of apples," said Bob Bloomer, regional vice president of Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality. "By being on this trip and seeing first-hand the students' interest in learning how apples grow and get onto their lunch trays, it reinforces how important it is that we continue to expand our farm-to-school program."

"We recognize the importance of helping students understand the connection between what they eat and where it comes from," said Cesar Dovalina, president of Cristina Foods. "This is a great opportunity to recognize the importance of National Farm-to-School month celebrations by taking CPS students to see where their apples come from. It's all about the kids."

During September and October, Chartwells-Thompson is promoting awareness and consumption of the local products served in CPS schools with its program, Simply Good - Fresh & Local. This program underscores that the food choices we make have an impact on our health, our environment and our community. It also emphasizes that students can play an active role by choosing locally grown fruits and vegetables as part of their school meals.

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

About Thompson Hospitality
With over 2,500 employees, Thompson Hospitality is one of the largest minority owned businesses in the United States and the largest minority owned foodservice company in the world. For more information about Thompson Hospitality, visit

About Cristina Foods, Inc.
Cristina is one of the most respected wholesale produce distributors in the Chicago metro area. With a reputation for quality and service since 1989, Cristina's specialty is fresh produce.

Contact Information

  • Jean Saunders
    Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality
    Ph: (773) 722-4964
    Email Contact