Diet-related illnesses are at an all-time high in our country, and the City of Everett faces one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the state. To overcome such an obstacle, Mayor Carlo DeMaria has remained committed to making Everett the healthiest city in America.
The Mayor and his administration have started a new conversation and that is to provide healthier food and raise the bar on nutritional content throughout Everett schools. Everett would join school districts across the country and as close by as Boston, which have increased nutritional standards for school food in recent years.
Mayor DeMaria stated, “I recognize the importance of healthy eating to student success and quality of life. Incorporating healthy eating into their daily school routine will empower them to have more energy, focus, and develop healthy habits during early childhood that will continue into adulthood.”
As the school food contract is about to expire, the Mayor and his administration want to explore healthy options to help Everett children build healthy habits for life. At a recent School Committee meeting, the Mayor highlighted that Aramark and every other food vendor is welcome to bid on the new contract. That means vendors will need to be able to meet those requirements to succeed in winning the contract.
The Mayor stressed that one of those requirements would be keeping and employing all current cafeteria workers.
Mayor DeMaria stated, “Cafeteria workers are central to our schools and go above and beyond for our students, offering a warm consistent presence across all grade levels and schools in addition to doing their jobs and that no one is looking to displace them, and no one will lose their jobs.”
This is not the first time the DeMaria administration has worked to improve nutrition in food programming. At the Connolly Center, senior meals used to be contracted out to an external provider, but now they are prepared fresh in-house and are far healthier and more greatly enjoyed by many, which is what the Mayor envisions in all schools.
The DeMaria administration has provided healthy eating options, through community gardens and the Healthy Meals program. In 2016, the City established the first municipal Health and Wellness Center in the country at the old Everett High School, which features exercises programs, weight lose challenges, equipment and also includes healthy kids cooking classes, kids fit camps, and specialized kids fit equipment. The Mayor has remained committed when it comes to providing the best and innovative ways in keeping the residents of Everett active and healthy and he wants to make sure children of Everett receive the same opportunities.