One part of student advocacy comes in the form of nutrition and cafeteria standards. There is one organization that stands out in this area – the Farm to School Network. I have written about this organization in past issues, but I’d like to highlight their 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference going on June 2nd – 4th Madison, WI. The mission of this year’s conference is to “source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America.” This movement is gaining traction and several school districts across the US have started implementing locally sourced food for school lunches. The Farm to School Conference has support from USDA Farm to School, Slow Food USA, and School Nutrition Association, Newman Foundation and the WK Kellogg Foundation to name a just a few.
When I first started writing these columns, PUSD offered once local item per month. I recently learned that PUSD has joined the Farm to School Network and our Nutrition Department now offers locally sourced foods every day! You can see what local/fresh items are available each day by choosing the ES Lunch Menu and then selecting at the Vegetable & Fruit Choices right side bar. Sure, there are still those syrupy fruit cups, but maybe you can talk your child into choosing the strawberries or baby carrots that day. To complement their farm fresh items, they offer a recipe that uses some of the featured local Harvest of the Month – check it out – this month is Strawberry.