HEALTHYFRESH1EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt announced that two school districts in the Metro East have received federal Team Nutrition School Meals Recipe Grants to help students create recipes for schools across the country.

“This is a unique opportunity that allows high school students to get involved with their community as well as teaching them necessary skills they will be able to use for the rest of their lives,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “We are enabling student chefs to experiment with recipes and promote healthy eating habits, while focusing on Illinois’ locally produced vegetables.”

The grants have supported students with local cooking competitions, taste testing events, chef demonstrations and field trips to farms or production facilities of local agricultural products, culminating in the students developing their own tasty and nutritious recipes for school meals.

Two out of the eight school districts who were grant awardees are located in Belt’s district: Cahokia Unit School District 187 and East St. Louis School District 189.

“This grant provides students a wonderful opportunity to focus on nutrition education and gain culinary experience developing recipes,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tony Sanders. “It is so important to understand where our food comes from and how its nutrients fuel us. The recipes these students created celebrate and uplift Illinois’ homegrown agricultural bounty and have the potential to reach students in lunchrooms across the country for years to come.”

To learn more about the grant program and to see a full list of recipients, click here.