• MERSD Nourishes Students’ Bodies and Minds through

    New Foods, Innovative Programs and Strategic Partnerships   

    Chartwells K12 and MERSD are cooking up a culinary culture that promotes a healthy lifestyle for all students.


    Manchester Essex Regional School District is excited to welcome students back to school and back to the café with a variety of new menu items, on-campus programs and innovations, partnerships and other initiatives for the 2018-2019 school year! With Chartwells K12 as a partner, Manchester Essex Regional School District is able to provide students with more than just a delicious and nutritious lunch; Manchester Essex delivers the education and motivation students need to live a healthy lifestyle in the cafeteria and beyond.

    New Student-Inspired, Healthy and Great Tasting Menu Items

    Using input from student surveys, tastings and everyday lunchroom conversations, the Chartwells chefs and dietitians will collaborate with the staff at Manchester Essex Regional School District to spice up the school’s menus with a wide variety of healthy food options and bold new flavors. The new menu includes:

    • Elementary- Chicken Parmesan with whole grain pasta
    • Elementary- Crispy Fish Sticks over Lemon Rice Pilaf
    • High- “Create” station- General Tso’s Chicken over Steamed Brown Rice
    • High- “2Mato Italian” station- Calzones, Flatbreads and Pizzas
    • High- “ON THE GO” station- Southwest Taco Salad

    Throughout the year, Chartwells K12 will hold chef and registered dietitian-led tastings with students to talk about new healthy foods and ingredients. Guest chefs from the community will also visit schools through the Chefs2Schools program to help students engage with healthy foods and learn how to eat well for a lifetime. Upcoming Chefs2Schools events include:

    Coming to Manchester Essex Regional School District this fall!

    Farm-to-School Program

    Chartwells K12 and Manchester Essex Regional School District are leading the way in farm-to-school innovation through school gardens and local products that students will love. Manchester Essex Regional School District will use school gardens to provide students with hands-on experience growing and producing their own food and to teach them about living responsibly and sustainably.

    Research shows that good nutrition has been linked to higher grades, better memory, more alertness, faster information processing and improved health, leading to better school attendance. In the school garden at Manchester Essex Regional School District, everything from zucchini and kale to cabbage and basil is grown, maintained and harvested, and then served to students in the cafeteria. Benefits include:

    • Student education and enhanced learning
    • Physical activity during the school day
    • Introduction to new foods and healthy eating habits
    • A source of local produce for the students and meal programs


    Setting the Standard for Menu Transparency and Nutrition Education

    As technology changes in the classroom, Manchester Essex Regional School District brings technology to the forefront of the café dining experience to help students and their parents prioritize healthy food choices, a direct influencer of classroom performance. Through Nutrislice, an exclusive partner of Chartwells K12, Manchester Essex Regional School District is continuing to build a healthier and safer school environment through nutritious foods and full menu transparency. In addition, Nutrislice provides menu descriptions and truly representative food photography taken by Chartwells chefs in schools.

    Nutrislice delivers Manchester Essex Regional School District menus online through smartphones, email and the web with recipe descriptions, original photos, and nutrition and allergy information.

    Download the Nutrislice App from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and search for your menus or find them on the web: http://mersd.nutrislice.com

    Partnership with Prevent Child Abuse America to #JustStandUp to Bullying

    Chartwells K12 and Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) is teaming up with Manchester Essex Regional School District to put an end to peer-to-peer abuse (commonly known as bullying) where it can most often take place: the lunchroom. The partnership will focus on preventing peer abuse in school and online, as well as promoting positive social behaviors of students. The dining service team will participate in targeted training to help them recognize and appropriately respond to bullying behavior in the café.  In addition, students and parents are encouraged to watch and share our #JustStandUp video, produced in collaboration with PCAA and Hampton Creek, to continue the dialogue at home around promoting positive digital citizenship.

    While Chartwells K12’s and Manchester Essex Regional School District’s number one priority is to nourish students and help them make smart choices about food, they also want to educate students about living healthy lives. The partnership with PCAA is an important extension of that.

     Farm Fresh Produce from Local Partners

    Chartwells K12 and Manchester Essex Regional School District are proud to support local farmers and companies, bringing students the freshest possible produce while supporting the Manchester & Essex economy.

    About Chartwells K12

    Chartwells K12 is a proud partner with Manchester Essex Regional School District. Our eat. learn. live. philosophy guides our team in delivering on each component of our promise, from great food (eat) to developing food and nutrition education (learn), and focusing on the whole child through key partnerships that support students in and out of the cafe (live). Visit www.ChartwellsK12.com for more information.