It’s early in the 2015-16 school year, and the Atlanta Public Schools Nutrition Department has this year’s food program well underway. The 2015 National Farmers Market week (Aug. 2 – 8) was one of the many activities that coincided with Day One 2015. Throughout the district, Georgia farmers brought in items grown across the state into our schools.
Students at Boyd Elementary were able to learn more about fresh vegetables, the varying tastes, and their many varieties. A representative from GA Organics Direct spoke with students about fresh eating habits. GA Organics Direct is the partner distributor for Adderson’s Fresh Produce in Burke County, Ga. The Adderson farm is family owned and has been operating since 1950s. The farm transitioned completely to Organic 10 years ago and focuses solely on produce.
This is the fourth school year that Boyd students are participating in the APS Fresh Fruits and Vegetable program. “We are excited about being a part of the program,” said assistant principal, Dr. Veneschia Bryant. “This is a way to introduce students to fruits and vegetables that they may not have heard of, or even tasted.” Each day the students are introduced to fruits and vegetables from around the world.
“We are very excited about the new things coming up,” said Dr. Marilyn Hughes, R.D., L.D., director, Atlanta Public Schools Nutrition. “September is going to be our organically grown month here in APS. We will be focusing on two items that our locally-grown vendors are bringing us— cabbage and kale.” APS receives many other locally-grown items, but chose to focus on these traditionally early fall vegetables in September.
The district’s foodservice provider, Sodexo, has contracted with three Georgia-based farms to provide organically grown fruits and vegetables in our school cafeterias. Each farm has been certified by the USDA and the Georgia Department of Agriculture as using organic methods to grow their fruits and vegetables.