Cairo’s Southside Elementary celebrated Georgia grown food in its cafeteria this week. A mini expo will be held Friday to complete the week of fresh Georgia commodities.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black announced that Southside was one of the five schools selected across the state to participate in the second “Feed My School for a Week” program sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Department of Education.
The “Feed My School” program increases awareness about the importance of proper nutrition and healthy eating, while assisting schools in sourcing local produce and products.
“The pilot program of ‘Feed My School’ was such a great success that we were encouraged to expand the program to five schools across the state,” said Black. “With this program, students will discover the importance of agriculture through learning about the process the brings local produce and goods from an area farm to the cafeteria table while at the same time receiving a healthy, delicious meal.”
The phrase “Farm-to-School” is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. when it comes to offering healthy, fresh produce options to students. To keep Georgia a step above the rest, the Georgia Departments of Education and Agriculture have combined their efforts to better assist all school districts in this initiative.
The “Feed My School for a Week” program aims to help bridge the gap in the nutritional value and quality of food served in Georgia school, while providing more farm to cafeteria opportunities. The result will be healthier Georgia students, decreased barriers in farm to school efforts and increased awareness as students learn and experience, both educationally and nutritionally, where their food comes from.
Each of the five school systems is represented by an elementary school in its district. All lunches served out of each selected school’s cafeteria consists of 75-100 percent Georgia-grown food. The schools host an agriculture guest speaker, hold “taste tests” of Georgia commodities and conduct an essay contest. There will also be art contest as each school that is focused on a single Georgia commodity, in addition to several other educational activities throughout the designated week.
Some of the Georgia foods served have been grown in Grady County.
To learn more about the program, visit www.agr.georgia.gov/feed-my-school-for-a-week.aspx.