Harvest of the Month provides students with real food education | Business
Cheney Public Schools have partnered with Trading Company grocery stores to help students learn more about healthy foods. Through the Farm to School grant, Cheney schools are incorporating healthy food choices into the curriculum and the Trading Company is helping bring their classroom lessons into the kitchen when they get home.
Cheney Public Schools was the only district in the state of Washington to be recieve the Farm to Schools grant from the USDA. Through the planning grant, Cheney schools are looking at ways to utilize locally grown fruits and vegetables both in school nutrition programs and through classroom curriculum.
Harvest of the Month is one of the ways that Cheney is bringing Farm to Schools into the cafeteria and classroom. Each month the schools feature a different fruit or vegetable. In September they featured plums and carrots were the Harvest of the Month for October.
“Many of them had never seen a carrot with a top on it let alone a purple carrot,” said Laura Martin, Wellness Coordinator for Cheney Public Schools.
This month, students tried out a variety of types of carrots while enjoying carrots on the lunch menu. The schools also have an education board set up that teaches the students more about the vegetable including information on the Washington farm where the carrots they ate were grown.
“It’s really cool to see that kids are excited about it and that families are starting to get excited about it,” said Martin.
The Trading Company is helping bring the information out of the classroom and into the kitchen by featuring the Harvest of the Month in their grocery stores. The stores are featuring posters. with recipes for each month’s featured fruit or vegetable. In October, shoppers were able to pick up a recipe card for roasted honey carrots.
“We are excited to help the school district help children eat healthier and help local farmers as well,” said Paul Matejovsky, owner of Trading Company. “This fits our mission to bring fresh, local food to our customers. If we can help children think differently about real food from a younger ago we will gladly help.”
Cheney Public Schools will apply for an implementation grant through Farm to Schools in the Spring so that they can continue and grow programs like the Harvest of the Month next school year.