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PTA to bite into school food issues

Evanston’s PTA Council is hosting a forum Thursday in which District 65 and 202 nutrition services officials will discuss our schools’ meal programs.

Meghan Gibbons, director of nutrition services at Evanston Township High School, which provides meals for District 65 elementary schools, and Christine Frole, coordinator of food and nutrition services at District 65, will talk about National School Lunch Program guidelines.

They’ll also provide sample menu items, and discuss with the audience about how to implement ideas like the sourcing of food grown from area farmers, school gardens, recyclable lunch trays and composting.

The forum takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Terrace Room at ETHS. Attendees can use the school’s southwest entrance and follow the signs to the meeting room.

The forum will be moderated by Bob Heuer, chair of the PTA’s legislative task force.

The task force is preparing a resolution supporting a plan to improve school meal lunch programs statewide.

The plan, created by the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force for the Illinois General Assembly, outlines how state government can help increase the supply of Illinois-grown food for in-state consumption.

Included is a proposal for a farm-to-cafeteria program that would address the economic and logistical barriers that hamper the ability of institutions like school districts to source food from area farmers.

The task force will be soliciting parents’ help in securing endorsement of the resolution from local PTAs.

Pending PTA Council approval, the aim is to secure adoption from the state PTA at its mid-March convention.

The task force will also seek adoption of the resolution from the District 65 and 202 school boards and ED-RED, a regional lobbying organization representing Dist. 65, 202, and 108 other suburban school districts.

Following the presentation, PTA Council will invite interested audience members to take part in the first meeting of a Healthy Community subcommittee.

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