RALEIGH — Although one calendar year has come to an end, the calendar for winter fruit and veggies will continue in 59 school systems across the state including Surry County and Mount Airy City Schools.
North Carolina cabbage, broccoli crowns, romaine lettuce, apple slices, sweet potatoes and collards were featured earlier last year through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Farm to School program.
“December marked the final shipment for 2012 and includes some of the same vegetables that are holiday meal favorites in many homes,” commented Agriculture Commissioner Stave Troxler. “It is great that schools can provide fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetable options year-round. Collards, cabbage. apples and sweet potatoes will make up the next deliveries in early January when students return.”
The Farm to School program is managed by the department’s food distribution and marketing divisions. Participating school systems placed orders for locally grown fruit and vegetables which were delivered Dec. 10. Local nutrition directors work with the distribution division to secure the orders.
According to Troxler, the marketing division works with local farmers to source the commodities and designs promotional materials for school districts on nutritional information and the benefits of locally grown produce. Participating farms are certified in Good Agricultural Practices, which is a food safety certification ensuring all food is grown and packaged under safe conditions.
Farms are also members of the department’s Goodness Grows in N.C. program. Troxler indicated that fruits and vegetables offered during the remainder of the school year will include watermelons, cantaloupes, slicking and grape tomatoes, several varieties of apples, peaches, sweet corn, cucumbers, kale, broccoli crowns, sweet potatoes, green cabbage, collards, romaine lettuce, apple slices, sweet potatoes, strawberries, yellow squash, zucchini and blueberries.
Persons may obtain more information at the website www.ncfarmtoschool.com for more information.