Springfield Public Schools is a large and diverse urban district, with approximately 26,000 students, about 4,000 employees, and nearly 60 schools. The mission of Home Grown Springfield, our food service program, is to eliminate student hunger by increasing the quality, sustainability, and efficiency of the child nutritional programs in our schools and community. Springfield Public Schools opened the Home Grown Springfield Culinary & Nutrition Center (CNC) in April of 2019 to support this mission.
The CNC is a 62,000 square foot, state-of-the art production facility designed and built to produce and package school meals and meal components for Springfield schools. We are now making breakfast and deli sandwiches, local salads, and fresh cut fruit cups, as well as home-made muffins, sauces, roasted meats, etc. Our program supports breakfast in the classroom, school lunch, dinner, and summer meals by centralizing operations and consolidating logistics. By making more school food from scratch, we aim to serve more culturally relevant meals with locally sourced ingredients, incorporating student preferences in our menu and recipes.
Springfield Public Schools participates in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, which ensures all Springfield Public School students eat for free. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 established CEP so that all students in high-need districts like Springfield can eat for free without burdensome paperwork. Parents no longer need to fill out free or reduced lunch forms and the school system is reimbursed for all complete meals served to students.
Our Farm to School Program includes nutrition & wellness education, 30+ school gardens, hydroponic classrooms, local farm partners, composting, and local purchasing goals.
For more information, please visit http://www.homegrownspringfield.org