Wellness in the School (WITS)


Wellness in the School (WITS) was introduced to PS41 in 2011.  Its goal is to provide healthier and more nutritious lunches for children eating at the cafeteria.

How does it work?  Inspired by the model Teach For America, WITS recruits and trains graduates of culinary schools to cook for kids in public schools.  The "Cook for Kids WITS in Residence" chef comes to PS41 to work alongside our existing cafeteria staff to help create, inspire and support improved salad bar choices and fresh homemade meals in our cafeteria.  This culinary graduate will be overseen by a head restaurant chef from our community, who will come in several times during the school year for "café days" where all students get to try new foods even if they haven't signed on for school lunch.   These dishes will incorporate all fresh, and seasonal, local ingredients whenever possible.  The students will be able to provide their feedback on the foods they've tried.  Positive results could lead to a new item on the menu.  Students are further empowered because they can look at monthly menus and sign up for the days they choose. 

WITS is the only organization that is approved to go into school cafeterias by the NYC Department of Education.  While WITS must work from a mandatory approved ingredients list from DOE's SchoolFood, WITS is able to advocate for and get healthier items such as more fresh produce, better salad bars, grass-fed beef days, and use of only olive oil in cooking.  WITS staff is also able to educate our kids about nutrition through workshops in the classroom. 

Click here for more information about WITS.  

To learn more about the Wellness Committee at PS41 including volunteer opportunities, email wellness@ps41.org.

WITS Cooking Labs
Fall Apples
Fall Kale
Winter Beans

PS41 Farmers Market Recipes
Corn & Tomato Scramble