Norwich Public Schools processing kitchen received its Food Manufacturing License.
The license allows NPS to purchase, prep and freeze local farm produce to sell to other school districts. Money received will go back into the Food Service department for future growth and expansion of the program. They employ local high school students, as well as, a couple of day cafeteria staff to run the kitchen. Every afternoon Mahan's school kitchen transitions to a food processing center. Food Services is installing a separate refrigerator and freezer soon in order to accommodate future growth.
The processing kitchen was made possible by funding from Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Farm Viability Grants in 2012 and 2015. The concept grew from an initiative to increase student consumption of local produce developed by the Food Services department. Other attempts of bringing more fresh produce into the school system were tried before finally developing a central processing kitchen. It allows for a more streamlined procedure and less overall cost to the department.