Our Eat. Learn. Live. philosophy incorporates a strong commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. When we nourish the environment, we nourish your students, school district, and community. Our sustainable purchasing programs support this initiative in a number of ways, including:
- Locally grown produce (for more information on local produce and school gardens, see below).
- Locally sourced milk and bread.
- Seafood – our standards meet the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” program guidelines. We use the program’s “Best Choices” and “Good Alternatives” to ensure sustainable seafood in our meals.
- Milk – rBGH free, reduced sugar, and no high fructose corn syrup.
- Chicken raised without the use of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.
A Flexitarian is someone who isn’t necessarily a vegetarian but actively incorporates meals with plant based protein into his/her meals in place of meat or other animal proteins. By making a slight change in our diet by simply eating one meat-free meal a week, we can make an impact on both our health and the environment. Our Flexitarian program promotes vegetarian options such as plant-based entrees, and fresh and local fruits and vegetables. Examples of our popular meatless entrees include:
- Southwest corn and black bean salad
- Hummus with vegetables and whole grain pita triangles
- Veggie burgers
- Tex-Mex hot dishes made with beans as protein source
Local Produce and School Gardens
We are always looking for opportunities to feature fresh, local ingredients in our menus, provide visibility for local produce, and build awareness of the many health and environmental benefits of eating well and buying local. We’ve seen first-hand the benefits of local produce initiatives and work with our school districts to incorporate them into the food service program whenever possible. Our programs include:
- Flash Frozen Program – preserves local foods so they can be enjoyed all year long.
- Local Harvest Campaign – encourages local produce vendors to purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables from area farmers so we can make the freshest foods in our kitchens.
- Chartwells Garden Guide – We’ve developed a resource for Chartwells directors to use in supporting school gardens in their district. The Guide also outlines a procedure for serving garden produce in the cafeteria if the district chooses to do so. Gardens are a great way to bring fruits and vegetables to your school campus, creating an interactive experience for students.
- We are also available to provide on-site food samplings of locally-grown fruits and vegetables in our cafeterias and sponsor farm tours so students can see agriculture in action