w/photos: DPS school for adults with special needs launches new commercial kitchen program

Charles R. Drew Transition Center, a Detroit Public School that serves special needs adults ages 20-26, today launched a new commercial kitchen learning experience for its students. The “Nutrition Center” is a collaboration project between the Drew Transition Center and DPS Office of Food Services.  The Nutrition Center at Drew is designed to enable students to have a real world commercial kitchen learning experience.

Students with a variety of disabilities will prepare food, serve fellow students, while meeting guidelines for federal reimbursable meals service and child nutrition.  Ninety students will participate.

At a cost of approximately $355,000, the renovated kitchen is equipped with food production equipment similar to the equipment found in any institution that prepares and serves food to a large number of customers.   The renovation costs were made available through the Office of Food Services in support of healthy school meals and learning.

To ensure the students have an opportunity to learn and practice new skills related to various types of food preparation equipment, Drew’s students will be responsible for preparing and serving the school breakfast and lunch meals to their fellow students.

The Office of Food Services has trained the Drew instructors on the meal requirements and an Office of Food Services employee will remain on site to ensure rules related to reimbursable meal compliance and accountability are maintained.

The second phase of the Drew Food Center will be cultivating a school community garden on the school property and the building of a greenhouse to extend the growing season.  Both projects will allow the Drew Transition Center to participate in the Office of Food Services Farm 2 School program.  The objective of the Farm 2 School program is to provide fresh locally grown produce that is incorporated into school meals.

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