Lafayette schools update lunch program

Chartwells, a food service program, has changed school lunches for students across 17 school districts in Indiana.
Chartwells, a food service program, has changed school lunches for students across 17 school districts in Indiana.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A food service program known as Chartwells changed school lunches for students across 17 school districts in Indiana, and the Lafayette School Corporation is one of those.

Jefferson High School is one of nine schools in Lafayette to begin using the new lunch program. Since it started Monday, senior Ross Klink has noticed longer lines for a good reason.

“I definitely think the food is better and also the whole layout is much better, more appealing to a student,” said Klink. “You get to make more choices in what you want to eat.”

Paul Kendall, a representative with Chartwells, said the program is an update to the traditional school lunch.

“Now, we have a food court concept where these students may have 15-20 options in a high school, and then fresh fruit and vegetable bars,” Kendall said.

The goal is to provide students with a healthy meal that is also delicious.

“There’s plenty of options [including] vegetarian,” Kendall said. “If someone has a gluten allergy or peanut allergy, any of those type of things, what we would do is connect them with our dietitian. And if we needed to make a specialty menu for them, that would be no problem – we would do that,” Kendall said.

He said he’s heard positive feedback from all Indiana schools involved in the program.

“They’re asking us, ‘Is this going to be like this everyday?’ Yes. ‘Is it going to be like this until the end of the year?’ Yes. ‘What about next year?’ Yeah, absolutely,” said Kendall. “This is what we do everyday. We do it very well. We do it very successfully in those districts and across the country.”

Three more schools in the corporation are set to start the program in the coming days.

“The whole setup has completely changed and it’s a completely different environment, but I think it’s a big improvement,” Kendall said.