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Feeding The Body And Mind At Pre-K 4 SA Learning Centers

Ryan Loyd

A Pre-K 4 SA committee has voted to begin looking for vendors that will provide food services to the two model education centers, and city staffers want to erase the stereotype of traditional school lunches.

Deputy City Manager Peter Zanoni said there will be four food opportunities a day: breakfast, lunch, a snack, and a late snack for extended day students.

"We're going to step away from that because we're not happy with the food from school districts at this point," Zanoni said.

Pre-K 4 SA's operational services committee is now looking for vendors that will prepare and cook meals for the two under-construction centers and deliver them to the students.

To get the quality food the city wants, it will cost a bit more.

Price estimates are $10 per meal for each of the 700 students who will initially get the program off the ground. Everyone, including the 10 percent who will pay tuition, will have food provided for free.

"The guiding principles in the RFP (request for proposal) and anything that we do with food is to offer food that has a high nutrition, that uses high quality ingredients - fresh ingredients - as much as possible, and that provides balanced meals," Zanoni said.

The eventual goal is to serve lunch in a family-style setting to teach the children manners and other skills. For now each meal will be individualized for health and safety reasons.

The request for vendors also includes calls for the company to offer nutrition education for children and their families.