Education news
  • Georgia Grown coming to school cafeterias

Two local schools will be taking part in a statewide program meant to provide fresher options in school cafeterias from local sources.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black announced last week that Cherokee Elementary and Eastside Elementary are now added to the list of schools participating in the Georgia Grown’s Farm to School program, including the Feed My School for a Week program, and the Georgia Grown Test Kitchen program.

It now includes 34 schools with the additions of Eastside and Cherokee Elementary Schools.

In a press release, Black said that he believes that the schools selected are the driving force of Georgia’s farm to school movement and are the key to successfully achieving Georgia’s 20/20 Vision for School Nutrition.

This program, which aims to have at least 20 percent of every meal in Georgia public schools be comprised of Georgia products by the start of the 2020 school year, is a partnership between the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Department of Public Health.

“Through these farm to school programs we can change the purchasing habits of a generation from the time they enter our school systems,” Commissioner Black said. “We look forward to strengthening our relationships with our participating school systems as we strive to successfully reach our goal set forth by the 20/20 Vision for School Nutrition in Georgia.”

Superintendent Laurie Atkins said she was glad to see local schools being included in the program.

“I am excited to see how our School Nutrition Program at these two schools can be enhanced by participating in the Georgia Grown program,” Atkins said.

First launched in 2011, the Georgia Grown Feed My School for a Week program is growing to include 34 schools throughout Georgia this year.

Celebrating its fifth year, the Georgia Grown Test Kitchen program is an initiative that promotes local and healthy eating in schools across the state by supplying school nutrition directors with healthy recipes using Georgia Grown commodities.

The Georgia Grown Test Kitchen and the Feed My School for a Week program help to bridge the gap in the nutritional value and quality of food served in Georgia schools. The System of Distinction awards identify those systems that have excelled in implementing efforts that have led to further development of the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s multiple farm to school programs.