Encouragement in MCPS to bring plant-based food to school menus


Oct. 4, 2022, 9 p.m. | By Katie Phung | 1 month, 3 weeks ago

MCPS students tests possible vegan meals for school lunch options created by local Silver Diner executive chef


On Sept. 29, MCPS middle and high school students met to taste possible plant-based lunch options through the partnership of Real Food for Kids and the Department of Food and Nutrition Services’s Chef Exchange Program. Executive Chef of Silver Diner Ype Von Hengst helped to develop the new dishes for the school lunch menus. 

To create these vegan dishes, the Department of Food and Nutrition Services visited Silver Diner and tasted a variety of the dishes on their menu. After their visit, they chose some dishes to modify to possibly incorporate them into school lunch menus. 

Director of the Department of Food and Nutritional Services Barbara Harral began this project in order to explore the possibility of having a wider variety of food options available for MCPS students. “We will develop meals that reflect the diversity of our student population in MCPS. We want our students to see their own culture and their own special meals on our school meals program,” she says.  

A collection of around a dozen MCPS students was invited to taste these meals and judge the creations made from this collaboration. 

Students took notes as they taste-tested the dishes, giving feedback on factors such as taste, smell, and presentation. Based on these factors, the students determined if they were interested in incorporating the dish into their school lunch menus. 

For Takoma Park Middle School student Adeline Hogan, the experience was positive. “It was so amazing that I could come here and taste food that could potentially be in my school…It makes my voice feel heard," she says. 



Last updated: Oct. 4, 2022, 9:21 p.m.



Katie Phung. Hi, I'm Katie! (she/her) I'm on the writing and photo staff. I like listening to Lil Peep, Joji, and EKKSTACY. I love spending time with my dog, Pocky, and playing games on my Nintendo Switch. More »

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