Transcript: From farm to cafeteria: Grant helps DC students enjoy nutritious choices

Text appears over a school hallway.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Washington, D.C.

SPEAKER: And then you're going to tell me which one you like the best. And that's what we're going to put on your lunch menu. So it's a very, very important vote. Fresh produce comes right out. The guys has more taste. Our mission at the Central Kitchen is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities.

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ON SCREEN TEXT: DC Central Kitchen serves scratch-cooked meals to local kids through its Healthy School Food program.

A man chops vegetables, and text appears.

ON SCREEN TEXT: A $275,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare helps the program expand its reach, while educating kids on the importance of nutritious choices.

A man cuts a yellow vegetable into squares. A blonde woman interviews, and text appears.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Sami Reily Dir. of Contract Meals and Nutrition, DC Central Kitchen

SPEAKER: The UnitedHealthcare grant. We're really thankful for it. It has allowed us to not only continue feeding our students throughout the COVID pandemic, but also after the COVID pandemic. The fresh, richer Friday program overall is an innovative way for students to try fruits and vegetables cooked in different ways. Purpose of preparing it three different ways is to get the students to say, oh, sometimes like they don't like steamed butternut squash, but have you tried it roasted? Have you tried it? Mash shows that there's different ways to eat different fruits and vegetables. Pride ourselves on sourcing local ingredients from anywhere from a 200 mile radius. First, we work with our farmer. There we bring it to our kitchen, we'll break it down. And while it's being broken down, our dietitians are choosing recipes. They try each little bite and they'll say what color they like best. The most popular item then goes in their menu for the next month. This is what we like to call a vegetable democracy.

A woman with a ponytail interviews, and text appears.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Travertine Garcia Manager of Nutrition and Compliance, DC Central Kitchen

SPEAKER: Bottom line is always getting food in kids bellies. 

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ON SCREEN TEXT: Lavone Walker Cafeteria Lead, DC Central Kitchen

SPEAKER: If they don't like it, they'll tell you important to us. We make it tasty, so they want to eat it. This one and this one. Healthy options at school so that the parents have a little bit less pressure. We do make sure that all the food that we serve in school is varied, but also really nutrient dense. Research shows that kids need at least 7 to 11 exposures to a new food before they like it. How do you like broccoli? Do you like with cheese? Or just to be excited about broccoli or about carrots or butternut squash? The crux of the work we're trying to do here and learning about.

A man chops fruit. Text appears.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Joseph Pitt Production Manager, DC Central Kitchen

SPEAKER: The food. Be excited about the food and come back and tell me something that you went back on the media. That's why I like to see this food is here for them. It's really important that kids have access to food that's made with integrity, and love. Everyone is just really there to serve the kids and make their day better.

Lavone hands a child a tray. A blue u-shaped logo appears over a white background, followed by text.