Local kids eat local foods

Emmy -- May 29th, 2008

Today was “Local Foods Day” at Harrisonburg City Schools! A “large portion” of the foods on the lunch menu were purchased from local sources. My sons go to Waterman Elementary and my oldest wanted to try the local meal out. I let them decide if they would like to buy their lunch or pack it depending on the menu. When I read it to him the first time he wasn’t interested, but when I mentioned that some of the foods were coming from farmers that we see at the farmer’s market every Saturday he changed his mind.

I’m not sure what the menu was like for the other schools, but the elementary school had Herb Roasted Chicken with a Homemade Roll, Garden Salad, and Fresh Strawberries. When I saw them this afternoon, his shirt was covered in a red substance. I asked him how he liked the local lunch and he said it was good, especially the strawberries. I’d would like to know what the cost of this meal was compared to a normal school lunch. I’d love it if more of the lunches could include local items when possible. I know menu planning is a big task for schools, but I think this would be great, at least towards the end of the year when local produce begins to be more readily available.

9 Responses to “Local kids eat local foods”

  1. Renee says:

    Neat :)

  2. Josh says:

    This is great! A real improvement over a few years back when the infamous picture menu website was mocked all over the internet.

  3. Josh says:

    DNR coverage in today’s paper:

    At City Schools, Lunch Goes Local
    http://dnronline.com/news_details.php?AID=17157&CHID=1

  4. David Miller says:

    I love the DNR but I also love when hburg (thanks emmy) manages to get a story out two days before them. Perhaps it will motivate the reporters to “step it up a notch”.

  5. Emmy says:

    I agree David. I actually could have put this up at the beginning of the month if I wasn’t running around like a lunatic all the time. It was on our school lunch menu, so I guess I am cheating a little because not everyone goes looking for our menu ;)

  6. Josh says:

    Sorta related website link:

    Seasonal Ingredient Map
    http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/seasonalingredientmap

    “Use our interactive map to see what’s fresh in your area, plus find ingredient descriptions, shopping guides, recipes, and tips”

  7. Emmy says:

    I watched Super Size Me again recently and started wondering if our local schools have looked into a lunch program like the one featured in the alternative school in the movie. If what Morgan Spurlock says is true, and the cost is nearly the same, then it would really be worth looking into. I will say that the nutritional requirements are much better than they were when I was in school, but there is always room for improvement.

  8. Josh says:

    Emmy,

    Check out these programs:

    School Lunch Initiative, Berkeley Unified School District
    http://www.schoollunchinitiative.org/

    And more specifically:

    The Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King Junior Middle School
    http://www.edibleschoolyard.org/

    Amazing program! Be sure to read about their garden, kitchen and classroom. Recipes too!

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