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What’s Growing On? April 2022 News from Grow Education

by: Adam Davenport, Grow Education Program Manager

Throughout this past month, Grow Education supported a series of events that we called Community Recipe Meetings. The purpose of these events was to gather local parents, guardians and families to share family and cultural recipes that they would like to see on the school menu.

Working with the school districts Family Engagement Specialists, Grow Education, in partnership with the NBPS Food Service Department welcomed neighborhood families to come together for a delicious meal of Caldo de Pollo. This recipe, a Central American soup, was prepared in the school cafeteria after being shared by the Mujeres Victoriosas resident mothers group, and then modified by NB food service for USDA compliance. 

Through the aid of three amazing NBPS Family Engagement Specialists – Mercy, Eliany, and Isa who provided translations – we asked participants to share cultural family recipes they would like to see on the school menus in the months and years to come. Once collected, the recipes will undergo the same process described above – participants will work with food service to make the dish USDA compliant while maintaining its authenticity. 

The idea being a child who feels comfortable and at ease with culturally familiar foods will be more likely to eat them and benefit nutritiously from them! As a community outreach effort, it also serves to build a bridge between cultures and provide a sense of belonging for their families, while ensuring healthy meals are eaten while at school.

Similar events have taken place at Normandin Middle school, and a will continue throughout the month at Gomes and Hayden McFadden elementary.  So far events have brought residents from Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Cape Verde, Honduras and more. It was amazing and so fun to learn about so many new recipes!

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