School meal preparation company Solo Fresco is taking a different approach to school lunches in New York. Since 2013, Solo Fresco has supplied New York City public schoolchildren with 50 million meals, offering ethnic cuisine produced with minimal processing and no artificial additives or flavoring.
Food Tank had an opportunity to talk with Fausto Armonti, the CEO of Solo Fresco, about the company’s approach to providing ethnic cuisine to students and his vision for the future of food in schools.
Food Tank (FT): What sparked your passion for school food and desire to get involved in providing culturally appropriate meals to schools?
Fausto Armonti (FA): My love for my daughter, my love for food, and my love for the United States inspired me to start Solo Fresco. The idea for the company was sparked about four years ago after I had a conversation with my seven-year-old daughter who was living in Italy. She described her class trip to a farm and spoke of the cow, the type of grass the animal eats, and why that soil is critical in the production of cheese. I loved what she was describing and how the children gained a better understanding of the food around them and how they were then in turn more open to eating it. I wondered how I could be part of a movement to improve the food offerings in our nation’s schools and started learning more about school food in the United States. Shortly after, I started Solo Fresco and began offering meals in NYC.
FT: How is Solo Fresco different from other school lunch programs?
FA: We offer culturally appropriate meals such as Italian Frittatas, Lo Mein Noodles, and Empanadas. Our mission is to keep food original and natural, serving lunches that are minimally processed, antibiotic-free, non-GMO, and without artificial ingredients or flavors. We do...