On the Menu
A behind-the-scenes look at Congressional's lunch program
Written in collaboration with Kathy Lucas, Co-Owner of Fairfax Food Service
Did you know that Fairfax Food Service has catered our student lunch program since the 1980s?
During our long-term relationship, we have worked together to provide a food program that helps to fuel growing minds, and celebrates our international community while offering a range of foods that has been KID approved!
With menu options such as Paella with Shrimp, Chicken, and Chorizo, or Syrian Style Lentils and Spinach, Vegetable Lo Mein, Thai Chicken & Rice Soup, and Italian Baked Lasagna with warm garlic bread and steamed edamame, we work with the staff at Fairfax Foods to provide an interesting, tasty, and healthy menu.
Among their daily lunch menu offerings are vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, nitrite free, and vegetarian options and students in the Big School can choose from multiple hot entrées as well as, deli sandwiches, homemade soup, and salad bar. Whenever possible, Fairfax Foods serves locally sourced fresh vegetables and fruit that change with the seasons. In all grades, at least two servings of fresh fruits and vegetables are offered at every meal, and whole grain bread and pasta are favored over those made with refined flour.
“We are a large operation that serves thousands of meals each day. We work closely with our distributors to find products that meet our stringent guidelines of whole grains, low sodium, high fiber, and low cholesterol and saturated fats,” states Mike Draughon, co-owner of Fairfax Food Service, a family run business based in Newington, Virginia.
Fairfax Foods has been in business since the 1970s and provides meals daily to over 7000 students at private and parochial schools, child care centers, and summer camps. “We have grown with the ever-changing nutritional market to provide diverse & delicious menu options that the children enjoy eating,” states Kathy Lucas, co-owner.
With a full-time registered dietician and professional chef on staff, Fairfax Foods considers carefully its menu options, looking for the healthiest choices while keeping in mind the types of foods that children are most likely to eat. Their staff is on site each day to serve lunch, and carefully track consumption rates to see which food items are popular, and which ones aren’t. They also encourage students to try different foods, and Kathy Lucas often stops by to check in and discuss new menu options. She has even conducted taste-tests with students to get their feedback before introducing new items.
Congressional students are active; they need fuel to keep their brains sharp and their energy at the optimum level for learning. A healthy diet can help. If you would like to learn more about the school lunch program at Congressional, or if you are interested in registering your student for the lunch program, email Deborah Everson, Accountant, in our Business office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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