Betti Wiggins, the officer of nutrition services in the Houston Independent School District, believes that school meals are as important to students’ academic success as what they’re learning in the classrooms. Since 2017, Wiggins has increased healthy meal options for students. She’s also making a connection between school meals and students’ social and emotional well-being. Family-style meals in classrooms allow younger students to eat with their friends and learn table manners, while another pilot program allows older students to have “tailgate”-style lunches outdoors. As part of her efforts to ensure that students have more than a “consumer relationship” with food, Wiggins partnered with a local college to develop a garden-based curriculum that can be used in math, physical education, and social studies classes. April 14, 2020
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