Monday, July 28, 2014

Students grow their own food for school meals


Instead of complaining about food served in the cafeteria, students are now growing it! Denver Public Schools  has 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.
A sunflower grows in a garden plot at the Saints Community Garden at Jefferson High School in Edgewater.
A sunflower grows in a garden plot at the Saints Community Garden at Jefferson High School in Edgewater.(Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)
"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.  It is a part of the national effort to combat childhood obesity by teaching students about nutrition and the value of eating healthier meals.  For the full story, go to: Students growing food .   For more information, contact Susan Motika at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, susan.motika@state.co.us  

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