How can you tell if your child’s lunch is nutritious?

Chicopee schools working to use locally-sourced ingredients

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Chicopee parent concerned about a snack-based lunch told 22News that she questions its size and nutritional value, so 22News went to Chicopee High School to speak with the district’s director of food service.

The “snack lunch” was served at the Patrick Bowe Elementary School on February 7. They offered cheese and crackers, baby carrots, Goldfish snacks, apple slices, and assorted fruit. Director of Food Service Joanne Lennon told 22News that the snack lunch doesn’t have a main food item, such as chicken, but it does meet dietary requirements.

Chicopee High School’s lunch on Wednesday was tacos with beef from Arnold’s Meats, as well as local produce. Chicopee only uses antibiotic and hormone-free beef. Lennon told 22News about why they focus on local.

“If the food has to travel form California or Mexico, by the time it gets here on our plate it’s about five or six days old. So if you stay with local, you are getting a lot more flavor, a lot more vitamins and nutrients, and using a lot less energy,” Lennon said.

The district spends about $250,000 each year on locally-sourced food. More than 80% of the students at Chicopee schools buy the school lunch.

Parents can also go online and find out the lunch’s nutritional value, by clicking here.