As the calendar year comes to an end, North Carolina cabbage, broccoli crowns, Romaine lettuce, apple slices, sweet potatoes and collards were featured in school lunches in 59 school systems across the state as part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Farm to School program.
“This marks the final shipment for 2012, and it includes some of the same vegetables that are holiday meal favorites in many homes,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “It is great that schools can provide fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetable options year-round. Collards, cabbage, apples and sweet potatoes will make up the next deliveries in early January when students return.”
The N.C. Farm to School program is managed by the NCDA&CS Food Distribution and Marketing divisions. Participating school systems placed orders for the locally grown fruit and vegetables, which were delivered Dec. 10.
The Food Distribution Division works with child nutrition directors to secure orders and is also responsible for picking up and delivering the fresh produce from the farm to school systems. The Marketing Division works with local farmers to source the commodities for orders and designs promotional materials for school districts that focus on nutritional information and the benefits of locally grown produce.
The fruits and vegetables in the N.C. Farm to School program are grown by farmers located from the coast to the mountains. Participating farms are certified in Good Agricultural Practices, which is a food safety certification that ensures all produce is grown and packaged under safe conditions. Farms are also members of the NCDA&CS “Goodness Grows in NC” program.
School systems participating in December purchases are: Alamance-Burlington, Alleghany County, Alexander County, Ashe County, Asheboro City, Avery County, Beaufort County, Bladen County, Brunswick County, Buncombe County, Cabarrus County, Carteret County, Caswell County, Chatham County, Cherokee County, Craven County, Davie County, Durham County, Fort Bragg Dependents, Franklin County, Gaston County, Guilford County, Haywood County, Henderson County, Hertford County, Hoke County, Johnston County, Lee County, Macon County, Madison County, Mitchell County, Montgomery County, Moore County, Mooresville Graded, Mount Airy City, Nash-Rocky Mount, New Hanover County, Newton-Conover City, Northampton County, Onslow County, Orange County, Perquimans County, Person County, Randolph County, Richmond County, Roanoke Rapids Graded, Sampson County, Stanly County, Stokes County, Surry County, Swain County, Union County, Vance County, Wake County, Watauga County, Whiteville City, Wilkes County, and Yancey County.
For the 2012-2013 school year, the N.C. Farm to School program will offer the following fruits and vegetables to school districts statewide: watermelons, cantaloupes, slicing and grape tomatoes, several varieties of apples, peaches, sweet corn, cucumbers, kale, broccoli crowns, sweet potatoes, green cabbage, collards, romaine lettuce, apple slices, sweet potatoes, strawberries, yellow squash, zucchini and blueberries.
Visit www.ncfarmtoschool.com for more information.