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Portland’s Tasty School Lunch Harvests Contest Win

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Portland’s Tasty School Lunch Harvests Contest Win
Posted on 10/30/2014

A mouth-watering roast chicken lunch the Portland Public Schools’ Food Services program served to students this September netted the district a win in a new statewide Maine school lunch contest.

The Maine Department of Education this fall held the first ever Maine Harvest Lunch Week Menu Contest. The Portland Public Schools was one of three winners in the contest.

To enter the contest, schools submitted a menu from a meal that was served to students during Maine Harvest Lunch Week in late September. The theme this year was “Dig In to Local School Meals.”

Schools had to incorporate local food items across the lunch tray in creative and appetizing ways.

Each entry was evaluated based on the description of local items, creative use of local products, total number of local products on the tray, and overall appearance. Three Maine Harvest Lunch Week winners emerged: the Portland Public Schools; the Yarmouth School Department; and Mount Desert Elementary School.

The Portland Public Schools’ entry showcased a roasted chicken drumstick from Maine-Ly Poultry Chicken, honey roasted kale from Snell Family Farm in Buxton and Spring Break Maple and Honey in Smyrna, lentil salad with carrots from Lakeside Family Farm in Newport, local bell pepper slices and apples from Lakeside Orchards in Fairfield and a whole wheat roll from Amato’s in Westbrook.

Yarmouth’s entry included Sloppy Joes made with local beef and Mount Desert’s lunch featured a Maine lobster salad.

The three winners this month received a certificate of recognition from the state in appreciation of their use of Maine-grown products.

They also all will receive free admission to the 2015 Tri-State (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) Child Nutrition Conference in May, along with a copy of Project Bread’s Let’s Cook Healthy School Meals cookbook.

Stephanie Stambach, an education specialist at the Maine Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Services, coordinated the contest. She said it was designed “to promote the use of local foods in our schools…and to recognize schools for the work they are currently doing with Farm to School.”

See the USDA Farm to School blog for more details on the contest and winning entries.

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This Portland Public Schools' roasted chicken school lunch, made
from local foods, was a winner in a new statewide school lunch contest.