MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today announced it has provided an $75,000 grant to Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Culinary & Wellness Services to purchase a new food truck that supports full cooking capabilities. The new truck, the second for the department, will operate as a mobile food distribution resource and community engagement tool throughout the school year and in the summer months. The new truck will enable MPS to expand service to five new community sites to provide healthy, nutritious meals to 15,000 young people. Meals served from the food truck during the summer months and at many community engagement events throughout the year are free for students under 18 years old.
The grant is part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
“Only about 20 percent of the students who eat with us during the school year access our healthy meals in the summer,” said Bertrand Weber, MPS Culinary & Wellness Services Director. “We want to increase that number because students in our community need access to nutritious food all year long. Thanks to this grant we can expand our food preparation and delivery capabilities to serve healthy, minimally processed food cooked from scratch to students at more locations across our city.”
Today the MNSBHC Legacy Fund and MPS Culinary & Wellness Services celebrated the grant at the annual MPS Junior Iron Chef Competition: Super Bowl Edition. Special guests joined this year’s cook-off, which is an opportunity for middle and high school students from several Minneapolis Public Schools to engage with chefs from the community and learn about healthy food recipes, ingredients and meal preparation techniques.
Peter O’Reilly, Senior Vice President of events at the NFL, attended the celebration and acknowledged the MNSBHC’s 52 Weeks of Giving campaign and the difference it’s making for kids and communities across the state. Renowned chef Andrew Zimmern and local media personality Jason DeRusha emceed the competition.
The annual competition teams up students and chefs and requires each team to prepare two recipes in one hour, then present both dishes to a panel of judges. Student participants are selected based on an essay submission; the competition emphasizes cooking with nutritious ingredients which aligns with the main objectives of the MNSBHC Legacy Fund’s 52 Weeks of Giving campaign to improve the health and wellness of Minnesota’s children by increasing access to physical activity and healthy food. The winning recipe from tonight’s competition will be served out of the new food truck during the week leading up to Super Bowl LII and featured on the school lunch menu across schools in the district, next year.
“We are so honored to support MPS’s efforts to make healthy food more accessible to students in Minneapolis as part of our effort to leave a lasting legacy for children in Minnesota,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships at the MNSBHC. “In addition to unveiling the new food truck, we’re pleased to be involved in this amazing event that connects students with chefs who are positive mentors and can share their passion for cooking healthy and delicious meals.”
The MPS Junior Iron Chef Competition: Super Bowl chef participants included: Lucas Rosenbrook from Alma: Café, Hotel and Restaurant; Lachelle Cunningham of Breaking Bread Café; Marshall Paulsen of Birchwood Café, Erick Harcey of Upton 43; Jorge Guzman; Joe Hatch-Surisook of Sen Yai Sen Lak; Mike Brown of Travail; and Liz Mullen of Chowgirls Killer Catering.
In addition to the 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC Legacy Fund is encouraging kids across the state to submit their favorite healthy snack recipes as part of its “Super Snack Challenge” with support from Newman’s Own Foundation. The online competition gives kids in Minnesota an opportunity to get involved in Super Bowl LII and win prizes. The competition is open to kids age 8-14 and more information on entry rules and guidelines can be found at www.mnsuperbowl.com/snackchallenge.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.