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Introducing My Way Cafe at Tobin K-8 School

March 8, 2019

Food Initiatives

Published by:

Food Access

The Mission Hill school has renovated its cafeteria and transitioned to My Way Cafe.

One day in early January, students at the Tobin K-8 School in Mission Hill learned some exciting news when they arrived at school. Colorful posters covered the walls — “My Way Cafe is coming!”, “Salad bar every day! Wide variety of fruits and vegetables!” Students anxiously awaited the changes until January 28, when My Way Cafe finally arrived at the Tobin.

My Way Cafe is a partnership between the Shah Family Foundation and Boston Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services. The Shah Foundation funded renovations for several school kitchens that were previously only capable of heating vended meals shipped in from elsewhere. Now, the new retrofitted kitchens can support scratch cooking at the Tobin, as wells as dozens of schools across BPS. You can read more about My Way Cafe online.

These days in the cafeteria, students snack on potato wedges, seasoned broccoli, fish from local fishery Red’s Best, and whole wheat tortillas from One Mighty Mill. Students are particularly fond of the salad bar, where they pick as many salad toppings as they want: cucumbers, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and ranch dressing just to name a few. My Way Cafe has also revamped breakfast. Students can start their day with fruit-topped oatmeal, french toast, and made-to-order breakfast sandwiches. Because student choice is prioritized, students enjoy breakfast exactly the way they want to. Don’t want cheese in your breakfast burrito? No problem!

Students stop me in the hallway every day to tell me that they love the new cafeteria. One student happily remarked, “This is like a restaurant, but at school!" Feedback from teachers and staff has been equally positive. Teachers have noticed that students who usually brought lunch from home quickly changed their habits once the new food arrived. One of my responsibilities as a FoodCorps service member is to create excitement around school meals, and My Way Cafe has made this task a lot easier!

Tobin students ordering lo mein with teriyaki sauce, chicken, and roasted carrots.
Tobin students ordering lo mein with teriyaki sauce, chicken, and roasted carrots.

This post was written by Amanda Friedman, FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member at the Maurice J. Tobin School.