Do Kids Really Appreciate Good School Food? You Bet They Do!

You can show your appreciation of good, healthy food by joining our #ThanksLunchLady and #F2SMonth campaigns. They grew from our work with a rural small town with a determined goal.

Litchfield, Nebraska, is a well-rounded farm to school example of a community-led effort to get healthier foods into school lunches. The kids are out in the greenhouse planting, learning, harvesting, and taste testing. The school staff works as a team to plan farm to school efforts.
And some might ask, do the kids really appreciate the opportunities and the food? And we’d say, “Of course!” But, we’ll let the kids speak for themselves.

The past two years at the graduation ceremony for Litchfield’s seniors, the class valedictorian applauded the food served in that cafeteria. In a culture where #ThanksMichelleObama (a sarcastic parody showing disgusting school lunches) is the norm, it’s refreshing to witness students who know where their food comes from and appreciate it.

So, let’s praise the hard work, long hours, sometimes small staff, and additional efforts it takes to revamp a school lunch program back to its local roots to make it healthy, fresh, and delicious. We’d like to shift the thanks to where it really belongs! (No offense to Mrs. Obama.)

In honor of Farm to School Month in October, we challenge students, schools, and food service staff to snap a photo of their awesome Farm to School meals OR photos saying thank you to your local food service staff!

Share these pics via the Nebraska Farm to School Facebook page or caption your photo with the #ThanksLunchLady #F2SMonth hashtags on Instagram @RuralNerd or @cfra on Twitter. Remember to give credit to your schools and food service staff so we can give them a shout-out, too!

It’s important now more than ever to make your appreciation known. It will be critical in the upcoming Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and introduction of the 2015 Farm to School Bill, which includes expanding available funding for Farm to School programs. Get involved and show your support!

Feature image: The lunch lady who inspired it all: Litchfield Public School Food Service Manager Janice Reynolds.