Courtesy Georgia Department of AgricultureStudents line up for their meal during a "Feed My School" week sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The program works to increase awareness about nutrition while helping schools source local produce. During the event, the department works to help schools source 75% of food from state producers.The Georgia Department of Agriculture is giving elementary school students a crash course in eating local with its “Feed My School for a Week” program.
One school from each of the state’s five districts will be chosen this fall to host a week of healthy school breakfasts and lunches featuring at least 75% local ingredients, said Mary Kathryn Yearta, chief communications officer for the Atlanta-based Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Weekly educational activities, to be conducted next spring, include taste-testing a local ingredient and creating a piece of art for a chance to win a class trip to a farm.
At the end of the week, each student will be asked to write about what they learned about Georgia agriculture.
Yearta said the Feed My School program, in its third year, aims to improve the quality and nutrition of school lunches, assist cafeteria staff with sourcing local ingredients and show kids where their food comes from and that eating healthy can be delicious.
“Hopefully they’ll make connections, and that will lead to local sourcing on a regular basis,” she said.
The department plans to sponsor fall planning sessions with each winning school to plan the spring event. Parents are also informed about the event.