School Committee Exploring Contract Extension With Meal Provider Whitsons

(File photograph.)

The Haverhill School Committee considers a one-year contract extension with school food service provider Whitsons at Thursday's meeting. (File photograph)

Haverhill’s School Committee plans to consider a contract extension with healthy meal provider Whitsons at Thursday’s meeting, entering what would be the 10th year with the school food supplier.

At Thursday’s meeting, the Committee will hear remarks from District Manager Joseph Armenti and Food Service Director Joanna Wood and learn about recent improvements Whitsons has made across the district.

According to the food supplier, lunch participation has increased from 47 percent to 52 percent this year. The amount of students taking part in breakfast service jumped from 17.5 percent to 19 percent.

The New York-based culinary service prides itself on offering clean, organic meals using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

A potential one-year contract extension would allow Whitsons to build on their cafeteria improvements in Haverhill at all schools including Haverhill High, which has a build-your-own salad bar and Grab & Go station, among other food options.

Healthy eating is top of mind at schools like Tilton and Consentino, where Whitsons uses their animal-centric Nutrition Safari program to introduce students to food groups and balanced eating. Signage at local schools also encourages exercise, Whitsons said.

Thursday’s meeting of the Haverhill School Committee takes place in the Theodore A. Pelosi City Council Chambers at City Hall, 4 Summer St. As a public service, 97.9 WHAV FM broadcasts the meeting live starting at 7 p.m.