Vetri Community Partnership was established to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living, and we empowers children and families to lead healthier lives through fresh food, hands-on experiences and education.
Project: VCP is one of the few organizations in the country that is trying to create a school lunch program based on fresh foods and vegetables. Getting city kids to eat vegetables is challenging at the best of times. We have the additional complications of state reporting, industrial scale, and a system that is designed for heat-and-serve food. Everything about today’s school lunch is built around ‘convenience’ food, including the software. For our schools, ordering ingredients is a chore that takes hours, when it should take minutes. It also currently generates endless paper waste.
That software is what we hope to change. Available technology should not restrict us to a system; technology is a tool that helps us make systems better, and our innovative lunch program deserves innovative software.
The meal-planning software that we currently use is PrimeroEdge, which we require in order to maintain state nutrition compliance. With the Technology Innovation Prize, we will create a sister program that works with PrimeroEdge for our staff and partners. When our school partners log into this program, they will find convenient ordering lists and clear, easy-to-read recipes. It will save our staff hours of time, reams of paper, and will empower our cafeteria partners. We are also excited that we will be able to share this program with other organizations, many of whom can’t try scratch-made meals because there isn’t software to support them.
We will implement this program in our schools over the next two years. Within three years we hope that our scratch-made cooking software will enable many new partner schools to join our program or start one at their school.