October boasts a change in season, and with it fall favorite foods will make an appearance on the lunch menus. We partnered with Trees, Shrubs & More Apple Orchard in Bellevue to provide 15,000 apples to our schools for our first ever Apple Crunch day on October 13th.
Students across the Midwest Region states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma celebrated crunching into locally and regionally grown apples simultaneously at Noon on Thursday, October 13.
The collective crunch initiative encourages healthy eating and supports farm to school and other local food purchasing initiatives throughout the region. It was a fun way to connect food and nutrition to all kinds of classroom curricula – from science to art!
In addition to the event on October 13th we highlighted local foods on our lunch menu on October 25th. Local foods appearing on the menu were:
Students enjoyed local meals and learned more about where their food came from (all items are produced within 200 miles). We have increased the amount of local produce and other local products used within the school meal program by 30% this school year as a direct result of a USDA Farm to School planning grant.
In addition to the increase in local foods on our menus, we have provided farm to school curriculum focused on our youngest learners to five pilot schools in the Early Childhood program. Teachers are able to incorporate more nutrition and local food highlights within the learning day. Students were busy this fall visiting local farms, like Martin's Orchards, where they were able to learn about how some of their fall favorites grow.
View information from our farmers and the great products that they produce right here in Nebraska and provide to our school cafeterias!