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Snail by Snail: Gitta Grether-Sweeney

As you can imagine, the board of Slow Food Portland has strong opinions when it comes to food. And as passionate as we all are, we were in a bit of a standstill when it came to next steps. What needs our attention? How does Slow Food Portland fit into the greater non profit scene in Portland? After many meetings, reflective exercises and a hard look, we came to the conclusion that this year would focus on education.

Which brought us to the doorstep of Gitta Grether-Sweeney, the director of nutrition services for Portland Public Schools. She walked us through school lunch, budget, and where she needed help. By January, a handful of volunteers set out to give samples of parsnips at a few elementary schools. The mission was simple: to have a few extra people approaching kids to invite/coax/rally them to taste the new veggie so that they might be more willing to pick that item in the lunch line.

This is a new endeavor, but one we hope to see grow and expand across more schools! If childhood nutrition inspires you, we’ll hope you’ll join us for sampling during lunchtime. To get on the volunteer list, please fill out this form.

This month’s episode dives right into school lunch! Listen in to learn:

  • What Gitta Grether-Sweeney thought would never see happen during her career, but did
  • How Portland Public Schools feeds kids with $3.15 for lunch. With about $1.48 spent on food
  • Why 100% whole grain might not always be achievable

Thanks for sharing