October 2019 Newsletter
Dear Friends,
"You can't beet that!" says farmer Dan of Wolf Creek Farm about sending his produce to Lincoln Elementary School District 27 for student meals. Starting a farm to school program at the beginning of the school year leaves no time for farmers to plan for the market. Thanks to a great local food system already in place, five farmers received approval for bids to service the school with local food in the first round. With the bid framework already built, we are now busy working with the Logan County Farm Bureau, Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois , and other local food organizations to spread the word to plan for next year.

Local food on the menu creates connections between students, parents, the school and the community in new ways. Seeing on Facebook that the school served local burgers using Toohill Seed and Beef Service, one parent then introduced her child to the farmer while shopping at the farmers market. Next time the student eats the burger at school they will have a picture in mind of the person who did the work. In addition, recipe exchanges are emerging. Lily brought in her favorite baked oatmeal recipe to the cooks at school and George asked "can you get my mom this recipe?" about the local beef tacos from Toohill Seed and Beef Service.

Not only is local food connecting everyone, the food is fresher and often tastes better. Kids are noticing the difference. Another student said about the local beef tacos, "I'm normally not a cow meat eater, but I'd eat this again!"

Tastier food means kids eat more of the nutrition offered them. “We are working hard in the kitchens, we are learning new skills and making new recipes, using more made-from-scratch foods, but at the end of the day, we want the students to enjoy the food. If we work hard to prepare fabulous food and it ends up in the garbage, we have not done our job. These kids deserve healthy, nutritious meals. It really is all about the kids.” says Connie Crawley, Lincoln Elementary School District 27 Food Service Director.

Wins for the kids, families, school, community, and farmers!
Above Connie Crawley, Lincoln Elementary School District 27 Food Service Director is excited to be working with Wolf Creek Farm to source locally grown, seasonal produce, such as these beets.

Below teachers, aides, and administrative staff are in on the action to connect students to their food source and encourage healthy eating with educational programming and displays.
Recipe of the Month
Mexican Lasagna
A Beyond Green Partners favorite from our Chicago school food service company! We work with institutions to build menus based on what kids at the school or patients at the hospital want to eat, what the cooks want to make, and what local farmers have available. The menus end up reflecting the culture, environment, and sense of the place.

Before something new goes on the menu, we taste test the item with the customers (kids love to realize they are customers!). Then, if the customers approve, we test the recipe to measure nutritionals and get portion sizes exact.

When the customer has a voice in developing the menu, they are more likely to eat the nutrition provided and less likely to fill garbage cans with school food. We asked students at Lincoln Elementary School District what they would do to get their friends to eat the school lunch. One student responded, "Like Lincoln 27 & Beyond. Ask the kids what they want to eat and then put it on the menu." Simple as that! #lincoln27andbeyond
Zero Waste Kitchen
“I love it. We have bonded more…It has taught us we can get things done easier, faster, and more efficient.” -Gerian Rahn, Head Cook with Lincoln Elementary School District #27

With training from Beyond Green Partners, Lincoln Elementary School District cooks are eliminating wasted time and wasted food to head towards a zero waste kitchen. The extra time helps them cook from scratch with the same number of employees and less waste frees up money for fabulous, local food.

To see more videos and learn more about Lincoln 27 & Beyond follow our YouTube channel, and follow us on social media. #lincoln27andbeyond
Beyond Green Partners in the News
Lincoln 27 and Beyond in the Lincoln Courier
Cooks at Lincoln Elementary School District are having fun cooking from scratch as kids are now enjoying fresh, local food on their school menu.
Lincoln Elementary School District introduced a scratch cooking local food program at the start of the school year in August. With funding from the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and training and leadership from Beyond Green Partners, the kids in Lincoln, Illinois have bright, healthy futures.

“For many years 100 percent of the meal was processed food and we wanted to change to a more nutritional and balanced diet. When Angie approached us about supporting a new program using fresh food and to bring in a chef to help us, we were excited. It was a no brainer to be all in,” said Kent Froebe, District Superintendent. #lincoln27andbeyond
Start Your Sustainable Kitchen Today
The keys to an improved food service: saving time and money. We've got both covered and can help you start a sustainable kitchen today. No tricks or tips up our sleeves. It takes planning and commitment, but we have the tools and training to get you there.

“We have bonded more…It has taught us we can get things done easier, faster, and more efficient.” said Gerian Rahn, Head Cook, Lincoln Elementary District #27 of putting the training into practice.
Thanks again for the continued support. Drop us a line (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or the old fashioned way), we would love to hear from you!


Greg Christian and the Beyond Green Sustainable Partners Team