The Fayetteville District receives $ 80,000 in grants to improve the nutritional quality of school meals

FAYETTEVILLE – The school district announced on Friday that it had received $ 80,000 in grants to improve the nutritional quality of school meals.

According to a district press release, the Life Time Foundation will provide grants to the district over the next three years.

The foundation is a nonprofit that works with more than 35 school districts across the country to eliminate highly processed foods, the statement said.

The grants are the first to be awarded to an Arkansas school district, the statement said.

The grants will help the district eliminate ultra-processed foods and accelerate scratch and speed scratch cooking practices through the assistance of an additional registered nutritionist and chef who specializes in school food operations, the statement said.

“We are honored to be working with the Life Time Foundation over the next three years to systematically review and improve the quality of ingredients and formulations, operations and equipment, marketing and professional development of our program,” said Ally Mrachek, district director for child nutrition.

The money will be paid for staff training and equipment to improve participation in the meal programs, program access and cultural inclusion, and to support student health and education, the statement said.

Meals and products recommended for the program are free from ingredients commonly found in highly processed foods, including trans fats and hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, hormones and antibiotics, processed and artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors , artificial preservatives and bleached flour, according to the publication.

Fifty-five percent of the district’s nutritional ingredients already meet Life Time Foundation standards, the announcement said.

The district has already used the money to buy electric knife sharpeners and make cutting machines, and to launch new menu display software to help parents and students become more aware of meal plans, the press release said.

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You can find more information about the work of the Life Time Foundation at www.ltfoundation.org.

Source: Life Time Foundation