Districts 2, 3 Bring The Farm To School Through Lunch Program

Dillon Districts Two and Three brought the farm to school during the month of February by serving locally grown collards to students at lunch.

Collards, grown by George Williams of Latta, were on the menu on February 1st and 22nd in Dillon and February 8th and 17th in Latta. Dawn Bailey, District Two Food Supervisor, explained that Dillon and Latta took part in this as a suggestion through their State Department of Education associate Gregg Ferguson. After a meeting with Williams at his farm, the decision was made to go forward.

“Students and faculty within our district seemed to really enjoy the fresh collards on our menu for the month of February. We are excited over the opportunity to work with our local farmers to serve our students locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Our plans are to work with our representatives with the Office of School Health and Nutrition on more opportunities to purchase local fresh fruits and vegetables for future menu options,” said Bailey.

“Dillon District Three is committed and support The Farm to School Program. It is an effective mechanism to improve the quality of school meals, enhance effectiveness of nutrition education and at the same time support our local farmers. Although, this is the first trial run with a local farmer, we are excited to provide fresh organic vegetables to our students,” said District Three Food Service director Theresa Rogers.

“We purchased fresh collards from Mr. Williams and we were very pleased with the quality of his produce. Living in the south we like to season our vegetables with fat back and other ingredients but the locally grown collards needed no seasoning and the students enjoyed them,” Rogers continued.

“This is a little more costly, but we are willing to pay that if we can stay within our budget and provide fresh grown vegetables to our children and support the local economy,” Rogers said. “The Farm to School initiative is an effort to connect schools (K-12) with regional or local farms in order to serve healthy meals using locally produced foods,” says the USDA.

“Farm to School activities may vary from community to community depending upon demographics; however, the basic goals remain the same:
To meet the diverse needs of school nutrition programs in an efficient manner; to support regional and local farmers and thereby strengthen local food systems; and to provide support for health and nutrition education,” according to the USDA.

“USDA is supporting Farm to School efforts through a number of initiatives, and continues to look for ways to help facilitate this important connection.”

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