QUESTION: WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH MTSD'S HYDROPONIC LETTUCE?

The acquisition of hydroponic equipment was in direct response to parent concerns about the salad bar. Several parents were asking for a bigger variety of fresh food, particularly in the elementary schools. Within a year, these were in place.

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A FEW FACTS

  • Aramark has managed MTSD's lunch program for the past 20 years.

  • When the lunch program generates a surplus, it stays in the Food Service fund as a reserve. Reserve funds are used for new and replacement equipment purchases.

  • There is no local tax subsidy or budget support required to maintain the lunch program.

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  • Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil.

  • Aramark purchased the Hydroponic equipment from Fork Farms, LLC, a company based locally in Appleton, Wisconsin.

  • The equipment was purchased from the Food Service Fund (Fund 50) so no operating funds or tax dollars were used.

Last word: Benefits for MTSD Students:

  • Increased interest and knowledge of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts.

  • Improved knowledge about gardening, agriculture and food systems.

  • Access to fresh fruits and vegetables.


Source: Aramark, MTSD (BOE Board Docs 6121121), FarmtoSchool.org, STEM.org

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