I am writing this letter in response to Tom Petit (Letters, Herald, Nov. 17), who stated he was disturbed that 9-R
received an award in nutrition.
First of all, I wanted to clarify that Durango School District 9-R was recognized as one of the 13 school districts in
the state of Colorado that took innovative steps to improve health education, nutrition, physical activity, school
health services and workplace wellness. Nutrition is just one component of the award. District 9-R was given the award
because it has one of the most comprehensive and coordinated health-and-wellness policies in the state of Colorado.
As food service director for Durango 9-R Schools, I would like to provide some facts about our student-nutrition
program. In all of our schools, you will find salad bars containing fresh produce, proteins and fruits. During the
height of our growing season, these salad bars are stocked with lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, sprouted greens
and snap peas from local farmers.
As part of our continually-growing Farm to School program, we serve local, grass-finished beef for all of our ground
beef needs. You will not find refined white breads, only whole- grain and whole-wheat breads and breadings on our
Fresh fruits are offered everyday, as well as fresh or frozen vegetables. Half of our meals are made from scratch, and
that number increases every year. In addition to nutritious lunches, every child also has access to a hot, nutritious
breakfast, including locally grown, harvested and milled cracked-wheat cereal.
By the way, the picture of the child in the cafeteria does not contain Jell-O. It is a local, organic applesauce that
is lightly sprinkled with gelatin for color. This is one of the daily organic fruit options that all our students
The National School Lunch Program is underfunded, and in these tough economic times, with government pressure to fix
the obesity problem at school instead of at home, the accomplishments 9-R has achieved are worthy of recognition.
Krista Garand, School District 9-R supervisor of student nutrition, Durango