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School gardens’ produce increasingly ends up in school cafeterias

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This year, another Colorado school district will join the growing national movement to bring fresh vegetables from school gardens  into  school cafeterias, directly onto the plates of the  students  who grew them.

Just four years ago, only a few schools in the country were doing this.  But after Denver Public Schools worked with  Slow Food Denver to create food-safety guidelines,  the garden-to-cafeteria movement  is spreading  across the country,   and the DPS food safety protocol is now a national model.  By May 2013, four states and the District of Columbia had laws to ensure that  produce from school gardens could be served in school cafeterias, according to the nonprofit ChangeLab Solutions.

“The kids are really excited about it,” said Emily O’Winter, healthy schools coordinator at Jeffco Public Schools, which tested pilot programs at four of its schools last year. “They’re so proud. At the salad bar, they look for their tomatoes from the garden.”

Experts say the trend is rooted in a convergence  of events:   the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that targeted  childhood obesity;   new USDA nutritional requirements that fruits and vegetables be served daily at school lunches; and the growth in consumer demand for foods grown locally.

At first, the idea of serving vegetables from school gardens in school cafeterias was so novel that CLICK TO KEEP READING

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Comments
  • comment avatar Kara July 28, 2014

    This should be added to all schools nation-wide, this is a great idea, it could teach children a good culture of awareness of what they eat and how to grow their own food.

  • comment avatar Andrea July 28, 2014

    Now if we could only get students the services they need, like school based therapies, classroom aides, and learning support services for all those who need them.

  • comment avatar Betty July 28, 2014

    This is a type of therapy and learning. Also, promotes sharing and teamwork.

  • comment avatar Johanna July 28, 2014

    Its a good idea to get kids involved with such a positive program. Its to bad schools started doing this because the schools can’t afford fresh produce due to budget cuts. Everyone wants that schools to serve a higher quality meal but no one is willing to pay for it.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 28, 2014

    I think this is a fantastic idea. My daughter’s Waldorf school has a greenhouse and it has taught the children wonderful life lessons. They also sell the produce as a fundraiser.

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