January/February Fresh Focus 2017

Welcome to the January/February issue of Fresh Focus! Here at CNOP, we're looking forward to a fresh new year with you, from helping to grow school breakfast programs to kicking off another summer serving healthy meals for kids. In this newsletter, take a look back at some of the great work done in 2016, and find helpful tools to grow your program. Plus, don't forget to register for our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Kickoff on February 8!

Save the Date: SFSP Kickoff February 8, 2017!

Meet CNOP's New Director

State Representative and SNA President Observe Innovative Breakfast Program in Blackstone

Plunkett Elementary School in Adams Increases Participation in School Breakfast Threefold 

Find SFSP Eligible Areas in Your Community: Our Mapping Tool Can Help

Chefs in Schools Menu Byte

Save the Date: SFSP Kickoff February 8, 2017!


Join us for the annual SFSP Kickoff this February for a day of brainstorming, planning and collaboration. Hear best practices from current sponsors, learn innovative ideas for your program, and get excited for a summer of feeding children in Massachusetts. Find a tentative agenda and register for the conference here. We hope to see you there!

Meet CNOP's New Director


CNOP is pleased to welcome Maura Ackerman to our team. Maura joined Project Bread and the CNOP team in December as Assistant Director of Programs. She holds a dual-Master’s degree from Tufts University – a Master of Public Health in Community Health and Nutrition as well as a Master of Science in Nutrition from the Friedman School’s Agriculture, Food and Environment program. Through her past and present work, Maura has developed a deep commitment to building partnerships that bridge the government, healthcare, education, and non-profit sectors, recognizing that each plays a critical role in building strong, equitable communities by increasing access to healthy food. In her role at Project Bread, she is excited to work alongside the CNOP team and our partners to increase participation in school breakfast and summer meals across Massachusetts. To say hello or to contact Maura, please email maura_ackerman@projectbread.org or call 617-239-2576. 

M Ackerman headshot.jpg

State Representative and SNA President Observe Innovative Breakfast Program in Blackstone


On Friday mornings at Frederick W. Hartnett Middle School in Blackstone, students line up out the cafeteria door to get a pancake breakfast prepared by Principal Justin Cameron. Thanks to the dedication of School Nutrition Director Jeanne Sheridan and support from CNOP, Hartnett Middle School began their successful Second Chance Breakfast program in 2014. Since then, the average number of students eating breakfast each day has increased from 20 to 120—with even higher participation on Fridays. In November, State Rep. Kevin Kuros and President of the School Nutrition Association of Massachusetts, Janice Watt, observed Second Chance Breakfast in action. State Rep. Kuros even put on an apron and got behind the counter to help Principal Cameron flip pancakes and serve the students! “I am very impressed by the breakfast program at Hartnett," said Rep. Kuros. "I had a blast helping to serve over 100 students, and there was a very energetic buzz in the cafeteria. You can tell these kids' days were off to a great start."


Plunkett Elementary School in Adams Increases Participation in School Breakfast Threefold


This December, State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi and Adams Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco joined CNOP at C.T. Plunkett Elementary School to observe the school's breakfast program in action and celebrate its success. Administrator Mazzucco helped pass out breakfast in Ms. Bourdon's third grade classroom, and Rep. Cariddi read to students while they ate. Plunkett began serving Breakfast in the Classroom this September as a result of the hard work of School Nutrition Director Roseanne Schutz and technical assistance from the CNOP team. Since the program was implemented, the participation rate has skyrocketed from 33% to 91%. Tardies dropped from 245 in October 2015 to 175 in October 2016, and there have been no hunger-related visits to the school nurse.


Find SFSP Eligible Areas in Your Community: Our Updated Mapping Tool Can Help


Are you looking to launch or expand your summer food service program? Take a look at our mapping tool, which shows SFSP eligible areas in your community. Our map is updated with the most recent census data, which includes areas that may be eligible. View the map here. If you have questions about eligibility in your community, please contact cnop@projectbread.org.

Chefs In Schools Menu Byte: Chef-Tested, Student-Approved


Cider Glazed Squash 

Looking for more ways to include produce in your meals this winter? This cider-glazed squash created by Project Bread's Chefs in Schools is a tasty, kid-approved way to freshen up your menu.



  • 50 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 cup canola vegetable oil
  • 4 gallons apple cider
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar


  1. Divide the squash onto 5 sheet pans. Each sheet pan should have a single layer of squash. Give the squash enough space on the sheet to allow it to brown properly.
  2. Pour 3 tablespoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of pepper over each pan of squash. Mix the squash on the pan so that it is evenly coated with oil and pepper.
  3. Roast the squash at 400 degrees in the oven for approximately 1/2 hour. Squash should start to caramelize and become very soft.
  4. Put the cider and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Reduce the heat once the cider begins to boil. Simmer until the cider is reduced down to a syrup.
  5. When the squash comes out of the oven, pour the cider syrup over each pan of squash and mix so that it evenly coats the squash. Hold the squash hot in a warming box or steam table and serve.