Farm to School program posts a record-setting year
With increased orders for North Carolina strawberries and blueberries, the N.C. Farm to School Program will end the year with a new record for school sales of North Carolina commodities.
In total, schools systems pur-chased $800,000 worth of North Carolina commodities in 2009-2010, easily outpacing 2008-2009 sales by $100,000.
School systems across the state ordered 13,315 flats of strawberries, more than 600 flats above the 2009 totals. Orders for blueberries more than doubled, to a total of 1,738 flats this year.
“It is great to end the year not only with record sales of strawberries and blueberries, but also the yearly record sales for the Farm to School program. In the end, our students and our farmers are the big winners,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Each year the program grows as word spreads about the healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables being offered. I look forward to topping $1 million in sales in the near future.”
Strawberries were scheduled for delivery to school systems through the week of May 24. Blueberry deliveries began May 24 and run through June 21. A total of 46 schools are featuring either red or blue berries on their lunch menus.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Food Distribution and Marketing divisions coordinate the Farm to School Program. In addition to strawberries, school systems are able to purchase other commodities, including watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, apples, cabbage, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Food Distribution coordinates deliveries of the commodities from the farms to the school systems, and the Marketing Division works with farmers to fill orders.
Participating school systems are: Alamance-Burlington School System, Alexander County, Alleghany County, Anson County, Asheboro City, Bladen County, Brunswick County, Buncombe County, Cabarrus County, Camp Lejeune Depend-ent Schools, Cherokee County, Cumberland County, Edenton-Chowan, Edgecombe County, Fort Bragg Dependents, Franklin County, Gaston County, Graham County, Greene County, Guilford County, Halifax County, Harnett County, Hay-wood County, Henderson County, Hickory Public, Hoke County, Johnston County, Kannapolis City, Madison County, Montgomery County, Nash-Rocky Mount, New Hanover County, Newton-Conover City, Northampton County, Orange County, Perquimans County, Polk County, Randolph County, Richmond County, Roanoke Rapids City, Rockingham County, Stanly County, Surry County, Union County, Wake County, Yadkin County and Yancey County.