Success Stories

“Green Team” Helps Bring Fresh Choices to Massachusetts Cafeteria

Posted on 02/29/2012

At Manchester-Essex Regional Middle High School, members of the student “Green Team” plant, care for and harvest vegetables in the school garden. Cafeteria employees use this fresh produce, including lettuce, kale, tomatoes, eggplant, turnips, and green peppers, in the salad bar and in many of the made-from-scratch recipes served for lunch, like the pesto pasta prepared with garden kale instead of basil. Now that students are involved in raising these healthy choices, they are more willing to select them in the cafeteria.

Manchester-Essex purchases much of their fruit from local Massachusetts farmers, and they offer healthy choices, like yogurt, baby carrots and granola bars, in the cafeteria vending machine too.

Recycling and compost bins are located throughout the building to help keep the whole school “green.” The students and the school work together to create a setting that is healthier for their bodies and the environment!

16 Comments - View or Leave a Reply

  • Janice Watt SNS February 29th, 2012 10:20 pm

    Food Service Director Sheila Parisien SNS is a trail blazer when it comes to improving school nutrition! Her name is not mentioned in this article, yet deserves ALL the credit for making these exciting and forward- thinking improvements in the Manchester Essex Schools. Bravo! She is an amazing role model for all of us.

  • Will Nadai March 5th, 2012 5:23 pm

    The MERHS is one of the greenest schools in American and it is my goal to make people aware of how it is so efficient. My partner and I are creating a guided tour of our entire school and its “green” facilities/aspects. It is our hope to enlighten the surrounding community on all the hard work that goes into making our school so green.

  • Shauna Rice March 5th, 2012 10:20 pm

    This article really shows just how environmentally friendly Manchester Essex and other schools around the country are trying to become. As a member of the “green team” at MERHS, I am proud to say that we have come a long way in hopes of becoming a sustainable school. As of right now, I am working with my partner Nicole Bradley to track, rate and chose the most sustainable products to be used in our dining hall.

  • Josh Christopher March 6th, 2012 2:56 am

    Having things like a garden at the school is one of many ways that Manchester Essex has become such a green school. A lot more students are getting involved with the Green Team and spreading the word about the environment. We are all trying to green up the school by helping reduce the cross contamination in the dining hall during lunch so we do not have any problems sending out the recycling or compost, and Jackie Rose is leading this effort very nicely. Hopefully all will be well with that soon so we don’t have any problems.

  • Christian Dumont March 6th, 2012 3:39 am

    The Dining Staff at MERHS is absolutely phenomenal and are doing a great job providing the students with healthy and environmentally sound choices. Fueled by the great food provided here, my partner Sean Terrill and I are working towards the ultimate goal of obtaining a wind turbine on campus. This would greatly reduce energy consumption here at our school and reduce our carbon footprint. The Green Scholars program has been terrific for the well being of our school and the students and faculty inside of it and we hope to see it continue to grow.

  • $ean Terrill March 6th, 2012 6:56 pm

    Healthy, sustainable food is large part of MERHS and especially the Green Team which is highlighted here, in this article. My partner Chris Dumont an I are working towards acquiring wind power here at our lovely school. A wind turbine would help reduce the energy consumption of our school and make our school even more green than it already is.

  • Davey Sibulkin March 7th, 2012 2:04 am

    I am so proud to be part of such a green school! I am currently working on funding for the Green Team. The Green Team is on a path to great things!

  • Jackie Rose March 7th, 2012 2:11 am

    Being a part of the Green Team here at MERHS has been one of the best things about my high school career, and that involves being a Green Scholar. Right now I am trying to fix the cross contamination issues we are having in our dining hall with the help of Green Team scholars and inters. If we can fix these problems we will be able to have our own onsite compost facility which I have already designed for our school.

  • Nicole Bradley March 7th, 2012 2:29 am

    As a member of the Green Team at Manchester Essex I have learned a lot about being environmentally friendly. I am currently working with Shauna Rice on producing a sustainability rating on all of the foods in our dining hall. This involves tracking all of the foods and giving them a rating based on miles traveled, chemicals used, locality, hormones used, and packing materials.

  • Liam Irwin March 7th, 2012 3:17 am

    As a student in MERHS and a member of the GreenTeam I’m responsible for maintaining the website and making sure that everything runs smoothly and is easy to follow. With articles like this it is beneficial to include them in out website for the other students to see and participate in. Many students help out with the green team and I believe that more can participate as time goes by. I will manage this by creating good articles that capture the attentions of the students, while reflecting the essential values of the GreenTeam

  • drako March 7th, 2012 4:42 pm

    great job lets work together to make this world healthy

  • Avi Urbas March 8th, 2012 3:46 pm

    We are very proud of the Manchester Essex Food Service program for leading the way in healthy foods, and educating students about nutrition. Way to go Sheila and team! – Avi Urbas, Finance & Operations Director.

  • Simon McIntosh March 9th, 2012 12:57 am

    This article gives a great taste of what The GreenTeam is all about. It is my job to grow, maintain and manage the garden and it is great to see it getting recognition. I think it is because of the cafeteria staff and our nutrition director that all of that is possible.

  • Janice King, RD, SNS March 10th, 2012 3:40 pm

    Congratulations! to MERHS and Sheila Parisien, School Nutrition Director and her school community Green Team leaders for developing a highly successful nutrition and environmental education garden program that ties opportunities for students to grow food for their school lunch program and to learn about green energy and agriculture. A winning combination!!

  • Karen McGrail March 13th, 2012 3:20 pm

    Kudos to Food Service Director Sheila Parisien, SNS and the Green Team at Manchester-Essex Regional Middle High School!

  • Gail March 16th, 2012 1:27 am

    Great job! Shielia you are doing a great job, keep up the good work.

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