Growing Healthy Schools Week is an initiative that celebrates school gardens and farm-to-school programs throughout the district. Thurgood Marshall Academy was thrilled to host a kick-off event for this wonderful celebration of green initiatives for the 5th year in a row.
This year’s event was hosted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in partnership with the D.C. Farm to School Network, D.C. Greens, D.C. Schoolyard Greening, and Whole Foods Market. Guests from Roots PCS, Richard Wright PCS, Mundo Verde PCS joined DC Councilmember Mary Cheh, U.S. Department of Agriculture representative Audrey Rowe, and DC State Superintendent of Education Jesús Aguirre for a “Top Chef” style competition.
Thurgood Marshall Academy students served as sous-chefs at the event, working with local chefs Lola Bloom of City Blossoms; Ebeth Johnson of Whole Foods; Anne-Marie Ramo of Revolution Foods; Lauren Williams of Chartwells; Ed Kwitowski of DC Central Kitchen; and The Queen of Green (Lauren Von Der Pool). Participants served as guest judges during the competition and were faced with the difficult decision of selecting a dish that was worthy of the 1st place trophy – a huge pumpkin. In the end, Chef Lauren and Thurgood Marshall Academy 9th grader Jhayda Johnson won with their recipe for savory pulled chicken and chard tacos with chile queso fresco and cilantro-lime sauce.