Real Food for Kids has secured funding from an individual donor to support a pilot program for FECEP/Head Start students at Shrevewood Elementary School. The program will provide the opportunity for students to serve themselves from the school’s new salad bar twice a month from January through June in preparation for Kindergarten when they will use the salad bar regularly. Head Start classrooms in FCPS currently have meals delivered by Jeffrey’s Catering which is served family-style in support of skills development and socialization. Students’ salads will supplement these regular meals.
 
Head Start nutritionist Melissa D’Angelo and Shrevewood Assistant Principal Ashley Castillo paved the way for the pilot which was initiated by Head Start teacher Grace Kim. Kim had attended Real Food for Kids’ Healthy Schools Advocacy Training in November where the idea took root. She worked with RFFK Program Director Mary Porter to shape the proposal and connect with specialists from Food and Nutrition Services on logistics and cost. Head Start students received Salad Bar Etiquette Training along with other Shrevewood students to be prepared.
 
“Our hope is that we can scale this program to other schools with FECEP programs.” said Porter. “It’s such an organic way for the littlest of our student to feel part of the full school culture and to have exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables they might not regularly see. Plus it will make the transition to kindergarten that much smoother.

"I’m very excited to be part of this important initiative," said Nanette Henderson, who is funding the pilot, "and hopeful that this early exposure to the salad bar will give [these students] the confidence to keep using it once they join “the big kids” in the cafeteria on a regular basis"