Cafeterias in Virginia Beach to expand 'scratch kitchens' to more schools this year

Initiative focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables in citywide rollout
Healthier School Meals
Posted at 4:30 AM, Sep 06, 2022

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Something fresh is on the menu at public schools across Virginia Beach. As classes start Tuesday, cafeteria workers are rolling out an expanded 'scratch kitchen' menu.

The seed for this fresh cooking initiative was planted at Glenwood Elementary in 2018. The cafeteria staff spent weeks learning recipes involving fresh ingredients, including fruits and vegetables grown in the school's own garden.

Following the success of the launch, more Virginia Beach schools will have made-from-scratch items on the menu this year.

"Having the scratch cooking, that smell of the fresh cooked rolls, or having that very exciting colorful salad or sandwich or different meals that we have that are scratch meals is enticing the students to come and eat in our cafeterias versus bring the meals from home," says Viorica Harrison, Director of Food Services.

Students are involved in the recipe testing and rating process, giving a thumbs up or down based on what they like. Popular recipes include an Asian chicken bowl and a breakfast pocket sandwich.