November 12, 2013
The 5th annual Farm to School Week is underway in Central Virginia. The Local Food Hub is traveling around area schools and sharing local, fresh food with students.
This isn't your ordinary school cafeteria food. The students are eating fresh fruits and vegetables and grass-fed beef.
Tuesday at Walker Elementary School in Charlottesville, the students were able to choose between a variety of locally grown apples and get a sample of apple cider.
"I got a piece of a Fuji apple and some apple cider, too," said Georgia Trainum, a fifth grader at Walker Elementary. "I thought they were really good and tasty and I would like to have them again."
The week even exposes students to food they've never had before. Alondra Trujillo, a fifth grader at Walker Elementary had never tasted apple cider. She described it as tasting a lot like apples.
The Local Food Hub is a nonprofit that works with over 50 schools in six different counties to improve school lunches. During Farm to School Week, the organization highlights local farms and the produce grown locally that students can enjoy.
"Good health starts at a young age and we feel like there's nothing more important than getting exposed to lots of healthy food choices in the schools," said, Kristen Suokko, Executive Director of The Local Food Hub. "We also think that having access to local food is very important for our regional economy, for our farmers, for our environment, so we think it's a win-win all around."
From talking to a few of the students, it seems like the idea of eating local and fresh is understood.
"I think it's a good experience. I think they are doing this because they want to raise awareness. Eat produce," said Samuel Bowling, a fifth grader at Walker Elementary. "Don't eat stuff like hamburgers. Eat produce because that's good for you. Not something at McDonald's."
"It's healthier and fresh made," said Trujillo.
"Fresh stuff always tastes the best and local stuff like that always tastes the best," said Trainum.
Wednesday's lunch menus for Charlottesville Schools includes local meatloaf, red potatoes, broccoli, and apples.