The Penn State Healthy Bodies Project is doing a survey at our high school to help make small changes to our cafeteria and to increase the fruit and vegetable consumption. “This project is a nutrition education outreach program funded by Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (PA-SNAP-ED) that serves preschool, school-age, and adult audiences throughout Centre and Clearfield Counties,” says Holly Jones, a nutrition educator and a member of this project.
Penn State first visited our school on Feb. 14, and they collected data based on how much food was eaten and/or thrown away. They also considered what types of foods were wasted or eaten, fruits, vegetables, and entrees. Each month they are trying a new food item to see if the students like it as a replacement to make lunches better. In February they had carrot fries. The amount of carrot fries that were not eaten were weighed and data was collected. The hope is to use the information from the taste tests we will be serving to have a positive impact on fruit and vegetable consumption, says Ms. Jones.
Each month they will feature a new item that will play a role in their survey. “Students will receive free samples once a month and it will influence what type of foods are served on the menu by voting. The food survey will help to show whether the changes we are making are effective,” says Ms. Jones. In March they will have smoothies, April will be Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower and May will be Strawberry Spinach Salad.
The staff is hoping to have as much student involvement as possible in this survey. Student council will be helping to collect votes from students based on if they liked, tried, or did not taste test the item. They are asking that every student vote and give them feedback about changes that you would like to see on your menu and in your cafeteria.