Success Stories

From Peppers to Parsley, Local Produce is Popping up in Connecticut Cafeterias

Posted on 02/22/2011

Students in New Haven Public Schools have their pick of fresh, local produce, thanks to the district’s ongoing efforts to offer more Connecticut raised foods in school cafeterias. In 2010, the district served over 140,000 pounds of locally grown produce – from pears and peaches to cabbage and kale.

And that doesn’t include all the healthy foods raised by New Haven students. Students attending the district’s Sound School plant, grow and harvest crops including eggplant, hot and bell peppers, winter squash, tomatoes and onions. Student farmers have even brought a little extra flavor to the menu with their basil, cilantro and parsley harvests.

With all the added produce, New Haven Schools wanted to find a new way for students to get their fill of fruits and veggies. The district recently brought First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools! initiative to New Haven, by unveiling salad bars in two schools.

Check out all the healthy choices by watching the video below:

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), US Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Dr. Janey Thornton and New England Patriots Defensive Lineman Ron Brace were on hand for the kick-off event and took the opportunity to talk with students about the importance of healthy eating.

Brace also spoke in support of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which encourages New Haven students to fuel up with nutrient-rich foods and get moving for at least 60 minutes every day.  This program, operating in over 70,000 schools nationwide, was launched by National Dairy Council and National Football League, in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture.

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