NYC schools end professional chef lunch program

Program does not follow new nutrition standards.

Aug 20—A well-regarded program that recruited professional chefs to help the New York City Department of Education provide fresher, healthier food in public schools is being discontinued because it does not meet new federal nutrition standards, the department said Friday.

Organized by the nonprofit group Wellness in the Schools, the program won attention in culinary circles and applause from parents for bringing professional chefs into schools to plan and help prepare meals like vegetarian chili, pasta with fresh pesto and roasted chicken with homemade spice rub.

But according to Marge Feinberg, a department spokeswoman, the program’s approach does not comply with the requirements of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, which sets higher nutritional standards for the food served to students across the country, and provides an additional subsidy of 6 cents per meal for schools that comply.