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      Healthy gourmet school lunches in the U.P.

      The building blocks for brains...that's what the Great Lakes Consortium is calling school lunches.

      The USDA food management company came to NMU for their annual visit, and they were showing off some delicious school lunch ideas.

      The smells of gourmet recipes filled the hallways of NMU's student center for school food service directors.

      The consortium serves nearly 700 districts in Michigan, and they want healthier recipes for their schools and to save them money when they buy food through the company.

      "What we need to do is make sure those children are achieving the maximum academic success. A hungry child can't learn, and a malnourished child can't learn, so when we provide quality fuel for these children, they can be focused like a laser-beam on those teachers and those academics and be the most successful students in the country," said Great Lakes Consortium Chair Paul Baumgartner.

      They want lunches to be more nutritious, focusing on fiber, vitamins, and fat and sugar contents but still tasty enough to have students coming back for seconds.

      As far as U.P. school lunches are concerned, we're ahead of the game.

      "I think the U.P. actually has an advantage over a lot of the schools because of the size of the schools and the flexibility that the managers have to produce a meal that's a quality meal and one that the kids would like and accept," says Gordon Food Service Manager Mark Morrison.

      Representatives from school districts all over the U.P. were there to sample the new school lunch ideas.

      To get involved with the Great Lakes Consortium, click here.