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.
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