For Immediate Release: April 9, 2018

Contact: Rachel Strauch-Nelson, MMSD, (608) 663-1903

Helen Sarakinos, REAP, (608) 310-7831

Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Food and Nutrition Services and REAP Food Group will begin serving locally-sourced lunches from a food truck, UpRoot by REAP on Tuesday, April 10 at La Follette High School. Food will be served starting at 11:20am, and district and REAP representatives will be on hand for interviews.

The Food Truck is the newest initiative of the Farm to School partnership between REAP Food Group and MMSD which aims to transform school food for Madison kids. This partnership has brought garden bars to elementary and middle schools throughout the district and has resulted in over 100,000 pounds of locally and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables being served in schools in 2017, with that number increasing annually. The food truck lunch program begins the week of April 9th and will offer grab-and-go school lunches featuring locally-sourced produce at East, West, Memorial, and LaFollette High Schools through the remainder of the school year.

“We’re excited to partner with REAP to bring this new option to our students,” said Steve Youngbauer, director of food and nutrition for the Madison School District. “Thanks to our partnership and Emmi Roth’s support, more students will have access to nutritious, fun options through our school lunch program.”

UpRoot by REAP is part of an effort to increase participation in school lunch in high school. School lunches served in MMSD high school cafeterias are available at low or no cost to students who qualify, and this project aims to remove barriers to nutritious food, enabling all students to access “grab and go” school lunches that are delicious, locally-sourced and healthy.

“We’ve developed UpRoot by REAP to make school lunch accessible and interesting for high school students. We know that half the student body qualified for reduced price or free lunches and many students in our community are food insecure. This initiative meets teens where they’re at – they can get a tasty nutritious lunch on the go,” says REAP Executive Director Helen Sarakinos. Similar efforts in cities in Austin, TX and Boulder, CO have shown that students are enthusiastic to try farm to school meals from a food truck.

Emmi Roth in Fitchburg, WI, generously donated the food truck to REAP Food Group in 2017 to support community programming and Farm to School.

“Roth is proud to support the efforts of REAP Food GROUP and to provide the truck for their new farm to school food truck program,” says Tim Omer, President and Managing Director at Emmi Roth. “The work they do within our local community is invaluable, and with this new food truck program, they’ll be cultivating a brighter future for area students.”

In recognition of this innovative program, MMSD and REAP Food Group, invite the press to join them at LaFollette High School during the lunch hour. A brief recognition of Emmi Roth, represented by Tim Omer, President and and Managing Director of Emmi Roth, USA, will follow lunch service.  Representatives of MMSD, REAP Food Group and Emmi Roth will be available for comment.