Rick Stevens of Watsonville Community School

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Most of us recall school lunch time as that dreaded part of the day when our stomachs were empty and we were given the choice between brown slop or soggy pizza. At Watsonville Community School, however, Rick Stevens takes a different approach. A life time cook and an advocate for youth nutrition, Rick heads an excellent snack program using produce from Second Harvest. Each day he serves up a fresh, homemade snack for the students during lunchtime. His menu ranges from sautéed veggies to baked potato wedges to soup with fresh produce. “Last week, I got a whole tray of cauliflower from the food bank. I have this way of making whole heads of cauliflower with cheese on the top…I just bake them in the oven and they come out looking beautiful.” Teenagers eating cauliflower? You might ask. But Rick introduces new foods and flavors little by little, striving to make familiar meet up with nutritious. “Most kids wouldn’t touch that stuff but over time they trust me,” Rick says.    “I tell them ‘It’s good, try it!’ and they eat all of it.”

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