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December 18, 2015
MEDIA ALERT:State Officials Join Project Bread to observe innovative lunch program at Williams Elementary School

WHAT: Senator Ben Downing (D-Pittsfield), Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield) and Representative Paul W. Mark (D-Peru) will observe the first-in-the-nation state funded Chefs in School Program at the Williams Elementary School. State officials will tour alongside Ellen Parker, executive director of Project Bread, Superintendent Jason McCandless, and numerous Williams Elementary School stakeholders.

WHEN:     December 18, 12:00-1:00pm

WHO:                 Senator Ben Downing, Pittsfield
                         Representative Tricia-Farley-Bouvier, Pittsfield
                         Representative Paul W. Mark, Peru
                         Jason McCandless, Superintendent, Pittsfield School District
                         Lisa Buchinski, Williams Elementary School Principal
                         Ellen Parker, Executive Director, Project Bread
WHY: The Chefs in School (CIS) program is the first state funded program of its kind in the nation. Through CIS, Project Bread’s professional chefs train cafeteria staff on culinary, presentation, and marketing skills to help districts prepare and promote nutritious, kid-friendly, USDA approved foods.  According to research done in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health, the CIS program not only improves the overall nutritional quality of school meals but also reduces food waste in schools1. The state’s award enabled Project Bread to hire three additional chefs and expand the program to six communities throughout the state, serving nearly 20,000 students this year alone. In the Pittsfield Public School district there are over 6,000 students, more than half of whom qualify for free and reduced price meals.

Williams Elementary School
50 Bushey Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Samantha Bennett, Community Relations Coordinator, 617-239-2578
Project Bread is the only statewide anti-hunger organization committed to providing people of all ages, cultures, and walks of life with sustainable, reliable access to nutritious food in Massachusetts. From community-based meal programs, to early childhood and school nutrition initiatives, to improved access to farm-to-table resources, Project Bread approaches hunger as a complex problem with multiple solutions. With funds raised through The Walk for Hunger, the oldest continual pledge Walk in the country, and other sources, Project Bread pioneers innovative initiatives and supports effective programs to eradicate hunger in Massachusetts. For more information, visit,, or

1) Cohen et al. Impact of the New U.S. Department of Agriculture School Meal Standards on Food Selection, Consumption, and Waste. Am J Prev Med 2014;46(4):388–394

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