Most school lunch programs aren’t very health-conscious. Things such as chicken nuggets, frozen pizza and hot dogs are typical daily menu items in a high school lunchroom.
The Vetri Foundation wanted to change this and find a way to deliver fresh and healthy and fresh food to schools throughout the Philadelphia area.
In 2011, renowned chef Marc Vetri was asked to design a lunch program for children attending ESF Dream Camp. Instead of simply designing a menu list, he decided to go cook for these camps himself for an entire summer.
This is where the idea for the Eatiquette school lunch program started.
“We wanted to deliver food that kids are happy to eat,” said Jennifer Wheeler, director of programs at the Vetri Foundation. “We’ve implemented fresh vegetables and healthy meals for these kids because they deserve it.”
Cristo Rey High School, which opened with a class of freshman students in 2012, was the first high school to adopt the program. Since then, 12 other schools have followed suit.
Over 90 percent of the students at Cristo Rey are eligible to receive free lunch. They are involved in a co-op program that places them into paid positions around Philadelphia where they work five days a month. The hours they work help to fund their education.
– Text, photos and video by Kevin Troilo