Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Menus for D.C. Pilot Programs

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

D.C. Central Kitchen broke new ground yesterday, cooking meals from scratch for seven public schools in the District of Columbia as part of a pilot program. According to its published menu, lunch consisted of herb-roasted chicken, "oat roll," field corn summer succotash, and Shenandoah melon salad. The vegetarian option was summer pasta salad.

Central Kitchen staff is cooking meals in the kitchen at Kelly Miller Middle School and delivering the food to these six other schools:

* Thomas Elementary School, 650 Annacostia Ave. SE.

* Burrville Elementary School, 801 Division Ave. NE.

* Alton Elementary School, 533 48th Pl. NE.

* Kenilworth Elementary School, 1300 44th St. NE.

* Marshall Elementary School, 3100 Ft. Lincoln Dr. NE.

* Prospect LC, 920 F St. NE.

This pilot program marks the first time in recent memory that food has been cooked from scratch in D.C. public schools. Besides making these meals for school children, D.C.Central Kitchen sources produce from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley to feed 4,500 people in shelters and soup kitchens on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Revolution Foods is making "portable" meals for seven other schools, meaning the food is prepared and packaged at Revolution Foods' facility in Glen Burnie, MD, then delivered to the schools to be re-heated.

The lunch yesterday was baked ziti with "zesty hamburger" and cheese, cut vegetables, and fruit. The vegetarian alternate was listed as macaroni and cheesed with baked beans, cucumber salad and fresh fruit.

These are the seven school Revolution Foods is feeding:

* Amidon-Bowen Elementary, 401 Eye St. SW.

* Hearst Elementary School, 3950 37th St. NW.

* Anacostia Senior High School, 1601 16th St. SE.

* Eastern Senior High School, 1700 East Capitol St. NE.

* Johnson Middle School, 1400 Bruce Pl. SE.

* Wilson Senior High School, 3950 Chesapeake St. NW.

* Peabody Elementary School, 425 C St. NE.

Unfortunately, school officials won't let us see the meals being made or the food being served as part of their effort to tightly control information about the new food service. They've even instructed the contractors--D.C. Central Kitchen and Revolution Foods--not to talk to the press. Why feeding children should be shrouded in secrecy and at whose orders is a question that itself remains shrouded in secrecy.

Otherwise, if you would like to see the published menus for D.C. Central Kitchen and Revolution Foods, you can go to the DCPS website here and click on one of the schools in question.


  1. How do you know they're cooking fresh food "from scratch" unless you can see it? Just because they say it's so doesn't make it so. Are their baked beans from a can? That isn't from scratch!Until you can see it, it isn't true. Here's the other test: does it taste good? How much of it will end up in the trash? If kids won't eat it, it doesn't matter how they make it.

  2. I'd be at school board meetings and city council meetings asking that very question, publicly and tactlessly. (Whilst innocently batting my eyes.) But then, that's me.