The Vetri Foundation has received a $40,000 grant from William P. Gest Memorial Fund, the Lillian Gest Memorial Fund, the William M. and Helen M. Detwiler Memorial Fund, the Thomas G. Ashworth Memorial Fund, and the John B. Gest Memorial Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation to support an in-depth evaluation of the Eatiquette program. The grant was announced by Pedro A. Ramos, President and CEO of the Foundation.
Kelly Herrenkohl, Executive Director of the Vetri Foundation, said the grant would be used to help fund a comprehensive program evaluation of the Foundation’s innovative Eatiquette school lunch program, which will be conducted by the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC).
Eatiquette aims to transform a child’s lunch from the traditional cafeteria assembly line to an environment where children gather around round tables, pass plates of food to one another and experience social interaction and communication. Children learn to serve each other, to respect those who prepared their food and appreciate how healthy food makes them feel. They leave the lunchroom fueled up both physically and psychologically ready to tackle the afternoon’s learning challenges.
“The feedback we’ve received so far from principals and administration at our partner schools has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Herrenkohl. “This study will help us understand exactly how Eatiquette is influencing students to make healthier choices, how the program helps improve school culture and attendance, and what lessons students are taking home to their families.”
Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, PHMC will be collecting information to determine how Eatiquette impacts students’ nutritional intake, affects meal time and classroom behavior, impacts the home and family, and the effect Eatiquette has on students’ perspectives and attitudes about healthy food. The complete study is estimated to be released September 2016.