Rural School Celebrates Delicious Food All Month

October is here and so begins National Farm to School Month. The National Farm to School Network seeks to empower children and their families to make healthy food choices. Mel Maendele is doing just that within the Norris School District. Mel is the Food Service Director for Norris School District and part of the Farm to School pilot program in Nebraska.

While working with Lone Tree Foods, she and Justin Jones came up with local produce options to feature during the month of October. Norris schools will be serving a variety of fresh, local produce items to students throughout the month of October in celebration of National Farm to School Month.

Here’s what is in store (yum!):

  • Green beans from Mark Roh of Abie Vegetable People in Abie, Nebraska, will be snapped and served by the 6th grade class and food service team.
  • Apples from Union Orchard located in Union, Nebraska, will allow students to try variety of sweet and crunchy apples. (Rumor has it that Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry may be on hand for this delicious snack!)
  • Abie Vegetable People will again provide a Mesclun salad blend, full of baby salad greens, which will be a new vegetable option for students to try.
  • The final week of healthy and nutritious foods will allow students to taste fresh sweet potatoes grown by Robinette Farms in Martell, Nebraska, owned and operated by Alex McKiernan and Chloe Diegel.

Norris food service professionals will display a variety of apples, sweet potatoes and pumpkins throughout their schools to visually show the students the upcoming fall produce they will be able to try during Farm to School Month. Each week they will also showcase the local produce with an educational slide show, as well as hands on lessons in several classrooms.

Mel’s goal is to create a lasting impression on the students. Despite the $1.24 food service budget per student, Norris School District is working hard to provide its students with healthy food ideas that they can take and share with their families.

Thanks to Pamela Mueri, who is helping with our Farm to School work, and to Mel Maendele, Food Service Director for Norris School District, for their help with this post.