Chicopee schools serving up fresh, local foods

Partnership between UMass, Chicopee Schools has been going on for the past year

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chefs from the University of Massachusetts were chopping, baking, and stir frying in the kitchen of Chicopee High School Wednesday morning, to provide samples of new menu items being offered for students there. For the past year, UMass Dining Services and Chicopee Public Schools Food Services have been partnering to improve the quality of food that students in the district receive.

Joanne Lennon, Director of Food Services for Chicopee, told 22News that they have been working with fresh, rather than pre-packaged ingredients, as well as local and sustainable foods.

New offerings this year will include foods with an “Asian flair and a Latin flair.” The idea, said Garett DiStefano, UMass Director of Residential Dining, is to make sure deliciousness and healthfulness come together.

“Students this fall will be able to enjoy on fiesta Fridays he Latin flair, and on Tuesdays it’s more of an Asian stir fry. The idea of it, though, is to try to have, for the same cost or less, food that tastes great, is better for them, and that it’s kind of customizable,” DiStefano said.

Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos and the superintendent of schools were among those who sampled the new foods Wednesday. To find out more about the Chicopee schools’ effort to bring in more fresh and local ingredients, visit

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