July/August 2015 Fresh Focus

Text for Food 

Summer meals is still going strong in many corners of Massachusetts. The number to text to find a meal site in your area is 617-863-MEAL (6325). Texters should include their location in the form of a zip code or the name of the town; they can also include their address for even better results.

Grant Opportunity of the Month

Project Produce grants from the Chef Ann Foundation: $2,500 to support cafeteria food demonstrations to teach students about the role of fruits and vegetables in a heathy diet. The money will be used to buy fresh produce to use in the demonstrations and for kids to try.

Send Us Your SFSP Photos

Sharing is caring, folks. The best way to spread awareness about summer food is to share pictures and personal stories. That’s why we’d love your photos of the food and activities you’ve hosted this summer. We’ll post them on Facebook and Twitter and show off your great work to the rest of the country. Pictures can be emailed to cnop@projectbread.org.

Featured Recipe

Taken From "Let’s Cook Healthy School Meals"

Tilapia Vera Cruz

By Tracy Burg, R.D.

Dietician, John C. Stalker Institute Of Food And Nutrition

Here is an excellent way to enliven tilapia, which can otherwise be bland.

  • 2 #10 cans diced tomatoes (about 13 cups)
  • 6 cups diced onions (about 2½ pounds)
  • 1½ cups lime juice (about 8 limes)
  • 2 cups canola or olive oil
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground pepper
  • 17¾ pounds tilapia or other fish (fresh, or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro

Yield: 100 Servings (K–5)

Serving Size: 2 oz Fish AND 3/8 CUP TOPPING

In a large mixing bowl, combine tomato, onion, lime juice, oil, and seasonings. Mix until well combined. Place fish into three 2-inch steam table pans.

Pour the tomato mixture evenly over each pan.

Bake uncovered in a convection oven at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or in a conventional oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Top with cilantro and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information


USDA Requirements Met


Harvest of the Month

The MA Farm to School Project connects local farms and institutions with school districts to improve access to healthy foods and support local agriculture. In July, the Harvest of the Month was cucumbers! Cucumbers are 96% water and are an excellent source of vitamin K. When picking out cucumbers, choose firm, dark green cucumbers that are heavy for their size. For August, peaches are the featured crop. Peaches are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Look for plump peaches with a sweet smell that are free of bruises and soft spots. For info on including harvest of the month in your school district's menu, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.

Food Day 2015

October 24th is Food Day 2015. It may seem far off, but now is a great time to rally around this year’s theme, “Toward a Greener 

Diet”, which emphasizes the environmental impact of our food choices. Here some ideas for ways to celebrate Food Day in schools:

--Serve organic menu items during school meals.
--Conduct a lesson on the effects effects of pesticides on the environment
--Organize a school community potluck for parents and children

--Throw a “harvest lunch” type of event with local foods
--Screen a documentary about the food system. Check here for examples
--Take the opportunity to launch a school wellness policy or community awareness initiative.

Congratulations to SFSP Grant Recipients

Each summer, Project Bread gives financial support to Massachusetts SFSP sponsors and sites to develop outreach campaigns, serve healthier or locally-sourced food, and add programming to supplement the meal service. This year, Project Bread distributed $106,000 to sites and sponsors in 41 Massachusetts communities. Thanks for the amazing work, grantees!