Meet these three nutrition leaders in Northeast Georgia and learn how they are growing Farm to School.
Meet Andrea Thomas, the new Habersham County Nutrition director. Mrs. Thomas will focus her farm to school efforts in Habersham County with the local purchase of six bulk items for next school year –Apples, Cherry Tomatoes, Slice Tomatoes, Squash, Cucumbers and Cabbaonthly taste test for all three middle schools have been planned and will include farm produce such as Heirloom Watermelons from Melon Head Farm, Eggplant from Shooks Farm and Honey from Virginia Webb’s Mountain Honey Bees.
Leading Farm to School in Jackson County is Dr. Debra Morris nutrition director and provider of nutritious meals to more than 7,000 students. “Our current Farm to School activities include featuring a locally grown produce item and farm each month. We include the food item on our monthly menu. We are also working with a local chef to develop a Georgia Grown menu for a day and serve that menu each month” says Dr. Morris. These monthly farm produce involves all twelve schools. Some schools have constructed schools gardens used for instructional purposes – South Jackson Elementary being the leader in Jackson county. Local farm produce purchases have been made directly from Jaemore Farms, Bouchard Farms and Hillside Farms this school year.
Cindi Dean, nutrition director of Rabun County will be kick-starting her farm to school program with cafeteria staff training and cafeteria taste test. Staff will receive hands on training with locally grown produce practicing safe handling, storage, and seasoning along with fine-tuning their knife skills. Monthly taste test will expose pre-K thru 12th grade students to locally seasonal products from Rabun County farmers including Mill Gap, Leah Lake and Ladybug farms along with local products from Sylvan Falls Mill.