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BOWLED OVER: BIG IDEAS SURROUNDING NUTRITIOUS FOOD ACCESS I N PA RT N E R S H I P W I T H

CITY OF DURHAM | COUNTY OF DURHAM | DUKE UNIVERSITY | DUKE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM | DURHAM CAN | DURHAM PUBLIC SCHOOLS DURHAM CONGREGATIONS IN ACTION | GREATER DURHAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE | INTERDENOMINATIONAL MINISTERIAL ALLIANCE LINCOLN COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER | PROJECT ACCESS OF DURHAM | PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHY DURHAM TRIANGLE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION | THE INSTITUTE

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hink back to when you bought lunch at school growing Essentially, Durham Bowls is bringing our city’s foodie up. The meals probably don’t stick out in your mind, or culture and the talent of our chefs into the lunchroom of if they do, it’s not for a very good reason. But today’s our public schools. At the end of May, several local chefs – school meals are nothing like those of 10, 20 or 30 years ago. including Phoebe Lawless of Scratch, Shawn Stokes of “One of the biggest barriers to participation in school Luna, Gray Brooks of Pizzeria Toro, Jack Tar and Littler, meal programs is perception,” says Beth Katz, director of Billy Cotter of Toast and Dashi, and Zweli Williams of design and implementation at Food Insight Group (FIG), a Zweli’s, as well as a set of culinary students from Northern food systems research organization that collaborates with High School – were partnered up with the school nutrition schools, grocery retailers and childcare centers among other managers of various schools, with the idea that the chef institutions. “School food really would bring the creative has changed a lot since any of culinary insight, and then the us were in school.” managers provide the school One of the ways FIG is nutrition expertise to come combating that stigma up with realistic and doable and supporting continued recipes that are also a little improvement in school bit more unique. They’ll start nutrition is through Durham testing their recipes soon and Bowls, a program designed by will debut the new Durham FIG to “tap into the talent of our Bowls at a public tasting event chef community while uplifting in October. the school food experts – those This is the second year of who work in Durham Public Durham Bowls – DPS started Schools school nutrition – and rolling out the recipes this bring exciting new dishes to the past year in December, with a cafeteria,” Beth says. new bowl on the district-wide “The National School Lunch lunch menu each month. Program is the second-largest They’ve gone through five Students at Lucas Middle School enjoy a recipe food assistance program in recipes so far, with five more co-created by a local chef and a DPS school the country (behind SNAP), slated for the fall. Once the nutrition manager. which makes it a logical place new recipes from this year’s to intervene when designing community-based solutions Durham Bowls event are showcased in October, they will be to reducing food insecurity,” Beth says. “DPS’ School added to the rotation. Nutrition Services operates multiple meal programs, The long-term goal of Durham Bowls, Beth says, is to including breakfast, lunch, after-school meals and summer illustrate what is possible within the many constraints meals. They are the largest nutrition assistance provider in of school meal programs, but also to show that in order Durham, serving around 30,000 meals on school days. … to have food like this on menus every day, DPS needs a Strengthening and supporting school nutrition programs central kitchen. can go a long way toward increasing food security.”

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Profile for Shannon Media

Durham Magazine June/July 2019  

Durham Magazine June/July 2019