Thanksgiving lunch at Tisbury School keeps it local

There was lots to be thankful for at a hot meal last Thursday.

Emery Fullin enjoys her Thanksgiving lunch at the Tisbury School. — Stacey Rupolo

Last Thursday was the day to get hot lunch at the Tisbury School. With the help of local farmers, school staff, and Island Grown Schools (IGS), students were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Island’s local bounty, while learning about what it means to be thankful for food.

And the food certainly was something to be thankful for. Local turkey was generously supplied by the GOOD Farm. Most of the produce — potatoes, turnip, and squash — came from Island Grown Gleaning, an initiative that recovers food from farms that would otherwise go to waste. Mashed potatoes, cornbread, stuffing, and green beans were topped with a warm scoop of gravy. Local cranberry relish and a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream left you forgetting that you were at school entirely.

“It harkens back to the heritage of what these feasts are about,” IGS program leader Noli Taylor said. “And to feeling thankful for the farmers and the land, and learning about the importance of local sourcing.”

For the past 15 years, on the Thursday before the holiday, head cook of the school cafeteria Linda Rose and her staff have prepared a traditional Thanksgiving Day feast for the students.

Mary Sage Napolitan, IGS school coordinator, said that all grades discuss Thanksgiving, its history, and what it means to be thankful for food.

There were more than 200 hot lunches served that day, and Principal John Custer called it the best lunch of the year. Both he and Associate Principal Sean Mulvey helped cafeteria staff serve that day.

Maybe it was the pumpkin pie, but students showed their gratitude by collectively thanking staff for their Thanksgiving feast. As kindergarten student Adrian Carreno-Vogt said of his meal, “My favorite is the frosting.”