Friday, June 17, 2011

Farm to School: providing food options

Farm to School is an initiative that looks to change the culture around food in BPS cafeterias by providing healthier options for students, while also educating them about those options. Farm to School works with local farmer's market to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables to BPS. The program which piloted in 2008 currently services over 58 schools.

In December 2010, the "Local Lunch Thursdays" program was launched. The program featured a local fruit or vegetable from a farmer's market on Thursday's school menu. One item that was on the menu was rutabaga. The rutabaga was cut into sticks and roasted into "fries" so that the natural sugars were drawn out. The menu was a hit! Students starting requesting for its come back. During a site visit from one of the staff members from Farm to School, a student stopped the staff member and asked, "When are you coming back with rutabaga fries? Those are really good!" It's important to note that all of the locally grown produce served on the lunch line has been purchased within the budgeted amount for fruits and vegetables per a reimbursable meal.

Farm to School is not only given students options by letting them taste all types of natural foods, but also empowering them by letting them decide what they may or may not eat. If students can request rutabaga by name then what's next...the kohlrabi?

Currently Farm to School is developing cycle menus that will most likely be implemented next year.

To learn more about Farm to School:

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