Lunch at a Weld County School District 6 elementary school featuring local products: grass-finished beef, pinto beans, local certified organic apples and greenhouse tomatoes & cucumbers
A bin of acorn squash sits on a pallet at the Weld County School District 6 central kitchen, right next to a bin of yellow onions and a 1,000 pound tote of russet potatoes – all locally-grown. A walk through the facility is enough to convince anyone that Weld County School District 6 is committed to scratch-cooked, locally-grown food for its 22,000 students at 35 schools. In this rural Colorado school district, where over 40 languages are spoken at home and 66 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals, fresh, tasty food is the norm – even down to the green chili, a southwestern favorite roasted in-house, using three varieties of local peppers.
About a quarter of the central kitchen is dedicated to processing fresh fruits and vegetables. Mushrooms are sliced, carrots are shredded and onions are diced. With funding from a USDA Farm to School Grant in 2013, this food hub portion of the kitchen was furnished with tables, wash stations and equipment to process local food for Weld County’s own meals and for other districts in the area. Read more »
Some of the most passionate advocates for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service are our partners across the country. I realized that when I sat down yesterday with our hunger fighting partners in rural Greeley, Colorado. The town sits in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Weld County, among some of the richest, most productive farmland in the west. It’s a massive 4,000 square mile county where cattle, grain and sugar beets are king.
Yet in the midst of the beauty and bounty, I was struck by the fact that 25,000 people here are in need. So United Way of Weld County brought together more than two dozen local agencies that all have a common goal: to strengthen their community by reducing hunger and promoting health. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
On April 26, I had the pleasure of visiting Harold S. Winograd School in Greeley, Colo., to kick off the judging for the First Lady’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. As I arrived at the school, I could feel the excitement, enthusiasm, and deep pride among the students and staff.
The students greeted us at the entrance of the school, dressed in professional-looking aprons embroidered with their names, and crisp, white chef hats. Four 8th-grade students – Jace, Bethany, Abraham, Amairani – along with local chef Amanda Smith, Kara Sample, RD, SNS, the administrative dietitian for Weld County School District 6, and Emily Wigington an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, developed the recipe of Chic’ Penne, one of 15 semi-finalist recipes from around the country. Read more »