Family-style lunch is part of the USM experience. Everyday our students and faculty sit down together to enjoy lunch, which provides students the opportunities to share conversation, build new friendships, socialize with students of different ages, and practice good manners.
Our lunch menu rotates daily and includes a full salad bar with a variety of fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables, soups, and side dishes, as well as selections of hot entrees (vegetarian options are available daily). We have cut down on fat, packaged foods, foods with preservatives, and desserts. We have also increased our use of fresh, local materials for meat, breads, pastas, and sauces.
USM is an “Allergy Aware” school. More than 10% of our student population has significant food allergies with special dietary needs. Parents, students, teachers, the school nurse, and the food service director along with the kitchen staff, work as a team to ensure that all students can enjoy their lunches. This is managed in an age-appropriate manner that ensures a student’s medical safety.
The Middle School Environmental Action Team (EAT), led by Middle School science teachers Nicola De Torre and Kip Jacobs, implements projects such as composting and recycling during the lunch time.
The School has a compost garden, Karen’s Garden, where EAT recycles lunch waste such as banana peels, apple cores, and veggie scraps. The Middle School group collects 200-300 pounds of non-meat and dairy organic waste on a weekly basis and processes the material for use in Karen’s Garden via a composting system. Every spring, with the help from Lower School EAT, the group grows a variety of vegetables including squash, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, and more. The vegetables are served in our dining rooms for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy.
The project, spearheaded by former Director of Food Services Karen Reimer and teacher Kip Jacobs, began in November 2006 and the garden was created on Earth Day 2007. Teachers, students, parents, administrators, and staff are all involved in the effort.