2014-02-13

The team serving at James G. Blaine Elementary School has begun serving delicious and nutritious breakfast smoothies in the morning to students. Smoothie service begins a little before 8 a.m. and lasts until we run out of smoothies. We launched our smoothie initiative on January 15 by serving 40 strawberry, mango, and banana smoothies. We ran out of smoothies in under 20 minutes.

On our second serving of breakfast smoothies, we upped our smoothie number to 50 smoothies and they disappeared just as quickly. We plan to continue increase our smoothie number and expand our smoothie recipes to include spinach or kale. In addition to providing students with a healthy breakfast treat and an incentive to get to school on time, we’ve also assisted the cafeteria staff in reaching their goal of serving more school breakfasts by requiring that students take a breakfast in order to get a smoothie. At our second breakfast smoothie morning, 95 school breakfasts were served – an all-time high for Blaine!

Alison Merrick has spearheaded the smoothie initiative, taking the lead on fundraising and managing the smoothie making schedule. Alison, a Temple alumnae and former president of Temple Community Garden (TCG), established a partnership between Blaine and TCG. Temple Community Garden donated the $1,800 that was raised at their annual Feast, an evening of music, raffles, and home-grown dishes prepared by TCG members, to the team at Blaine’s smoothie initiative. One of the most exciting aspects of this partnership is that the Principal at Blaine is also a Temple University alum. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to appreciate TCG members and the impact that their donation has had on our students when they come see the smoothies in action at Blaine on February 21.  Additionally, our team is hoping to nurture our partnership by engaging in service alongside TCG at their community garden in the spring.

Students are excited about the breakfast smoothies and have been involved in the process since the beginning. We have had students help us by creating posters advertising the smoothies and prepare smoothies during after-school time. In the future, we’re looking forward to starting up a smoothie naming contest. We’ve already heard some creative ideas such as a blueberry mango smoothie called “The Blue Man.” Additionally, students have expressed interested in leading a student smoothie club where they will have the chance to help selected smoothie flavors, prepare the smoothies, and serve them to their peers.

The smoothie initiative has had an overwhelmingly positive impact not only on students but our team at Blaine. We have just as much fun making (and occasionally enjoying) the smoothies as the students do! We’re looking forward to developing the innovation partnership Alison has led between TCG and Blaine in years to come.

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