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Community feature: Meatless Monday at Whitsons Culinary Group

Whitsons Culinary Group has utilized a Meatless Monday campaign in the schools it serves since early 2018.

Whitsons Culinary Group, a food service provider for school districts throughout the northeast United States, has utilized the Meatless Monday campaign in the schools it serves since early 2018.

Whitsons Culinary Group partners with both The Monday Campaigns and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) to implement its own Meatless Monday initiative. Though the group has been providing plant-based meal options in schools for several years, Whitsons Culinary Group’s partnership with The Monday Campaigns has brought marketing materials, technical assistance, and programming support to schools like Commack High School in Long Island, New York. Through their partnership with the Johns Hopkins CLF, Whitsons is able to collect and analyze data for evaluating and expanding the campaign.

school lunch staff serves food to studentsWhitsons school lunch staff serves food to students.

Leslie Boritz, the principal of Commack High School, calls Meatless Monday “a wonderful thing.” Boritz stresses that having input and feedback from students is very important to everything that happens in school, and all stakeholders—parents, students, teachers, and staff—should be represented in conversations about in-school nutrition. The initiative began in Commack High School after hearing feedback from the school’s Nutrition Committee, and the school has been very supportive of Meatless Monday so far. Robert Larkin, Corporate Executive Chef of Whitsons Culinary Group, finds it important to introduce new food items to students and broaden their views on the food offered to them. Commack High School purchased menu TVs in their cafeterias to show the daily menu and a fun fact next to the menu items, as a “hook” to introduce students to options they may not have otherwise explored.

Discussion

As you watch, consider the following, post your response below, and reply to comments of other learners:

How has Whitsons applied some of the earlier presented themes of conducting a needs assessment and building partnerships?

What factors do you think have most significantly contributed to the success of Whitsons Meatless Monday program?

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The Monday Campaigns: Lessons in Public Health Promotion

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