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Chicago Public Schools will be purchasing Amish chicken for school lunches! In an article in today’s Chicago Tribune, Monica Eng reports that Chartwells-Thompson has purchased and will be offering antibiotic-free chicken drumsticks in school lunches. We’re talking 1.2 million pounds of antibiotic-free chicken entering school cafeterias. Holy cow, am I thrilled! Check out this quote from Bob Bloomer (he answered a Q and A on the blog earlier this year):
“Two years ago I would have said that there is no way I’m ever bringing in raw chicken into our schools,” said Bob Bloomer, of Chartwells-Thompson, which caters the 473 CPS schools that will be serving the chicken. (A second company, Preferred Meal Systems, caters about a third of CPS schools but is not part of the program.)
“But we trained all the (CPS) cooks and managers before school started this past August to bring them up to speed on how to safely handle chicken from the time it comes into the back door to the time it’s served to students on the plate,” Bloomer said. “And we actually created a training DVD for ongoing education.”
Long time readers remember that I met Bob and even introduced myself to him after a screening of Lunch Line earlier this year. I had quietly attended that event, intending just to watch, but I was so struck by Bob in person that on a whim I went up to him and introduced myself as ‘Mrs. Q.’ I just liked the guy — and luckily he didn’t snap a picture of me on his phone and tweet it! Today’s announcement confirms what I thought back in the spring: Bob is committed to improving school meals. I’m so encouraged by today’s news.
Read the full article: Amish-raised chicken on CPS lunch menu (Chicago Tribune)