Litchfield Park schools taking farm-to-table approach to cafeteria

From a local farm to school cafeteria table, kids at Thomas Heck middle school get a cornucopia of fruits and veggies.

The Litchfield School District has partnered up with local farmers to bring a farm-to-table approach to its cafeteria. 

A fresh shipment of fruits and vegetables comes in every week to a different school.

That shipment, which is often picked that very morning, is then distributed among about four other district schools.

Schools rotate every week, which school officials hope will eventually increase.

"We're hopeful that when farmers get enough production coming along, we can have it in all 15 schools," said David Schwake, the food director for Litchfield Elementary School District.

Shipments are seasonal. Which means this summer students feasted on fruits such as strawberries and are now going to be getting more squash as we head into cooler weather.

If you're thinking a lot of the food is getting spoiled because kids don't touch kale or spinach, you're wrong.

Schwake says kids often even pick off the decorative kale on the salad bar.

"If I give them ranch, they'll eat anything," joked Schwake. But the truth is, the school doesn't have to use a lot of ranch.

"We don't use a lot of salt, so we want fruits and vegetables that have a taste of their own and we don't have to highly season them," he said.

"It's really a win-win situation, from start to finish," said Maya Dailey, who owns Maya's Organic Farm, one of the participating farms.

"It's a win for growers because we have a new way to distribute food, and actualize better nutrition for the children in schools," said Maya.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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