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Let’s Do Lunch: Tips For Parents + How Are We Feeding Students?

Chef Dan Giusti enjoys lunch with students at Winthrop Elementary School in New London. Photo by Winter Caplanson, Courtesy of Brigaid
Winter Caplanson
Chef Dan Giusti enjoys lunch with students at Winthrop Elementary School in New London. Photo by Winter Caplanson, Courtesy of Brigaid

We’re calling on the pros for advice on the midday meal. This week on Seasoned, we get tips from Diane Morrisey, a mom of six, about making school lunches kids actually want to eat. We also brainstorm how to make lunchtime stress-free for busy parents whose home office may or may not be the kitchen table. Chef Plum checks in with Dan Giusti, the chef transforming lunches in New London public schools, about the challenges of turning $3.50 into a meal made from scratch. Finally, a mom with a son in a New Haven school district describes her experience trying to access meals for a child with multiple food allergies. Mayor Justin Elicker responds. And Marysol Castro speaks with John Frassinelli to get a broader view of how Connecticut’s Department of Education is working with districts to feed all students throughout the state, whether they are learning remotely or in school.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and email at seasoned@ctpublic.org

Robyn Doyon-Aitken and Catie Talarski contributed this show.


Diane Morrisey – Mother of six and self-taught home cook from Trumbull, Connecticut. She’s also a recipe creator, food stylist, and Instagram star.
Dan Giusti – Founder and CEO of Brigaid.
Nijija-Ife Waters – Parent of two sons and Citywide Parent Team President for the New Haven Public Schools.
Mayor Justin Elicker – First term Mayor of the city of New Haven (@MayorElicker)
John Frassinelli – Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau Chief of Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education

Robyn is the senior producer of Seasoned, a show celebrating food and farms. She’s filled in as a producer for several of our local shows, most notably, Where We Live. In 2021, she was part of the team that received first place in the Interview category from the Public Media Journalists Association for the episode “Who Owns History? Connecticut Woman Sues Harvard For Family Photos.” She produced The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze® from November 2015 until the broadcast ended. Before that, she ate her way through the previous seven years of Fine Cooking magazine while its web producer. Robyn is food-obsessed, loves to bake, and constantly thinks about people in the food world, both nationally and locally, who have compelling stories to tell about food.
Marysol Castro, co-host of Seasoned.
Chef Plum, co-host of Seasoned.