Friday, April 8, 2016

MPUSD Jenn Gerard heads to the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley

Jennifer Gerard, described as a "food innovator" for the changes she implemented at the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, has been named program director for the California Food for California Kids initiative at Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley.

“Jenn Gerard has been one of the most creative and committed school food service directors in California and a leader in transforming school meals by serving healthy, freshly prepared meals made with California-grown ingredients,” said Zenobia Barlow, executive director of Center for Ecoliteracy. “She even developed unprecedented partnerships with local fishermen to incorporate Monterey Bay’s bounty into school nutrition programs. I know she will be able to grow the California Food for California Kids initiative to reach more children and more schools.”

While in Monterey, Gerard oversaw a transition to fresh meal preparation, salad bars and staff development, and launched a culinary program at Seaside High School that collaborates with Nutrition Services to develop, test and market new recipes. She earned the California Center for California Kids Innovation Award for her work in raising the quality of meals and connecting the classroom to the cafeteria.

 “I am honored to have the opportunity to devote myself to expanding California kids’ access to healthy, delicious locally sourced food,” Gerard said in a statement. “Together, we’re accomplishing an amazing feat: remaking an entire industry to better serve our children and farmers, fishers and producers.”

So long, Jenn. It was fun to work with you. Much luck in your future endeavors.

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