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Cafeteria opened for families to try Mario Umana Academy school food

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Food Access

The East Boston school opened up its cafeteria during an open house for Boston Public Schools families to show them the new My Way Cafe model, and welcome them to try the school food with their students.

This spring, the Mario Umana Academy celebrated My Way Cafe in the school by having the cafeteria open during an open house event. Alden Cadwell, Deputy Director of My Way Cafe at Food and Nutrition Services, said, “We thought it was important to open up the cafeteria to our parents and families so they could see and taste what the students of the Umana get to eat every day.  We are so happy that it was such a success and that so many families chose to dine with us!”

The freshly prepared food wafted into the school from the moment families and students entered the building. On the menu that night was BBQ chicken drumsticks, brown rice, black beans, baked plantains, and a full fresh fruit and salad bar to choose from. The My Way Cafe has been in the Umana cafeteria since the start of the 2018-2019 school year and this has added more choice for students in their meals and a fresh fruit and salad bar full of vegetables, like cucumbers and bell peppers, as well as cheese and orange slices.

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Two students in the sixth grade expressed that although it was a little strange to be in the school cafeteria at first with their parents, in the end they were glad to show their families what they eat everyday and ended up having a great time sharing a meal in a place so important to students and families. This type of event will hopefully spread to other schools year-after-year as the goal of BosFoodLove is to generate excitement about fresh, healthy school meals so that students want to eat those meals every day and families can rely on those meals everyday in Boston Public Schools.