Marlboro College

NewsMarlboro College Student Brings Healthy Food and Lifestyle to Troubled Youth

Marlboro, VT (Nov. 9,2006)- Holyoke’s River Valley Academy is throwing out its city-sponsored free lunch and cooking up a healthier approach to feeding its student body.

The school is adopting a project called Lunch Alive, with the intention of improving learning by improving nutrition. 

“River Valley Academy’s population is at-risk youth.  All exhibit behavioral challenges that prevent them from attending public schools and all share a socioeconomic reality of poverty,” said Sigrid Arvidson, a junior at Marlboro College who developed the program.

All of the students attending R.V.A. qualify for “free lunch.” Approximately 80% of the city-sponsored free lunch is thrown away by the students as it is deemed inedible.

Arvidson, with the aid of local Brattleboro chef Christopher Kiepper, brings students at R.V.A. the utensils, knowledge and food necessary to create a healthy lunch. Students prepare a cost-free meal, while learning important culinary skills including care and sanitation, food presentation, purchasing and storage, and meal composition.

The concept behind providing a good lunch is that when students do not eat well, they do not, as a result, think well.

“As we know, without proper nourishment students have a higher rate of disciplinary interactions and are less equipped to handle daily challenges in school and in their extended communities,” says Ingrid Arvidson, director of R.V.A.

Lunch Alive will solicit donations of money and food from Vermont and Massachusetts businesses.

Donations for the Lunch Alive program should be earmarked as such and sent to:

River Valley Academy

Ingrid A Arvidson, Principal

30 Center St.

Holyoke, MA 01040

Photo and interview opportunities are available on Fridays at R.V.A. For more information, visit the Lunch Alive website www., the R.V.A. website, or contact Sigrid Arvidson at, Ingrid Arvidson at or 413.536.2160., or Kathy Reynolds at

(802) 251-7644.

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