Local foods will add to Algoma school menu
A new program to bring locally produced meals to the Algoma School District’s cafeterias in partnership with The Rural Enterprise Network, Live Well Algoma and Live 54218 was announced by Superintendent Nick Cochart this week.
The program is part of a national “farm to cafeteria” trend among schools throughout the U.S. as they seek to offer local, healthier alternatives for the meals served in their cafeterias, Cochart said. The Algoma School District will be joining this effort for the 2016 school year, he said.
According to Cochart, the project he envisions doesn’t stop at the cafeteria tray. Nutritional education, recipe competitions and taste testing will be a big part of the school district’s plan.
Live 54218 began with a challenge from the Green Bay Press-Gazette to its readers to think boldly about how to change its communities for the better. The overwhelming response from the community was to develop ways to address the childhood obesity epidemic. Working with the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce and other groups, Live 54218 developed a mission to create environments in the community that support and promote all residents daily consuming five fruits and vegetables, drinking four bottles of water, having less than two hours of screen time and participating in at least one hour of physical activity every day.
Live Well Algoma seeks to improve the health of residents in the Algoma community, while the Rural Enterprise Network is dedicated to helping small farmers and local producers stay profitable.
Ashley Ponchok from Live 54218 brings her experience implementing “farm to school” programs in a number of area school districts including Green Bay, Pulaski, Wrightstown and De Pere. Teal VanLanen of Live Well Algoma will act as project manager to bring the project to fruition for the 2016 school year.
“The Farm to School project helps our mission by giving local farmers another profitable outlet for their goods. This program will allow small farmers to connect not only to our district but to much larger customers in Green Bay and the valley,” said Jodi Parins of The Rural Enterprise Network.
Meetings are being planned byThe Rural Enterprise Network for December and January to explain the program to interested producers.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Local foods will add to Algoma school menu