FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUG. 27, 2010
Gary Gay, director
NCDA&CS Food Distribution Division
Tommy Fleetwood, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
School kids starting the year off right with
the NCDA&CS Farm to School Program
RALEIGH -- The first deliveries of North Carolina produce will soon hit cafeterias in 55 school systems as part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Farm to School Program. Participating school systems placed orders for locally grown watermelons, cantaloupes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes and four varieties of apples. Deliveries will be made Aug. 30 and Sept. 12.
“We have seen steady growth in the Farm to School Program since it started 13 years ago, and this year is no different,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Orders were up for each of the produce items offered, plus 12 more school systems are purchasing these start-of-school commodities compared to 2009. We are proud because this program is great for students and farmers.”
The N.C. Farm to School program is managed by the NCDA&CS Food Distribution and Marketing divisions, supplying fresh North Carolina grown fruits and vegetables throughout the year to school districts statewide.
The Food Distribution Division works with child nutrition directors to secure orders and is also responsible for picking up and delivering the fresh produce from the farm to school systems. The Marketing Division works with local farmers to source the commodities for orders and designs promotional materials for school districts that focus on nutritional information and the benefits of locally grown produce.
The fruits and vegetables in the NC Farm to School program are grown by farmers located from the coast to the mountains. Each participating farm is certified in Good Agricultural Practices, which is a food safety certification that ensures all produce is grown and packaged under safe conditions. Farms are also members of the NCDA&CS “Goodness Grows in NC” program.
Systems that are making beginning of the school year Farm to School purchases are: Alamance-Burlington, Alexander County, Alleghany County, Anson County, Asheboro City, Avery County, Bladen County, Brunswick County, Burke County, Cabarrus County, Camp Lejeune Dependent, Chatham County, Cherokee County, Clay County, Cumberland County, Davie County, Edenton-Chowan, Fort Bragg Dependents, Franklin County, Gaston Count, Graham County, Guilford County, Harnett County, Haywood County, Hickory Public, Hoke County, Hyde County, Iredell-Statesville, Jackson County, Johnston County, Kannapolis City, Madison County, Montgomery County, Mooresville Graded, Nash-Rocky Mount, New Hanover County, Newton-Conover City, Northampton County, Orange County, Pamlico County, Perquimans County, Person County, Polk County, Public Schools of Robeson County, Roanoke Rapids Graded, Rockingham County, Stokes County, Surry County, Union County, Vance County, Wake County, Watauga County, Wilson County, Yadkin County and Yancey County.
For the 2010-2011 school year the N.C. Farm to School program will offer the following fruits and vegetables to school districts statewide: watermelons, cantaloupes, slicing and grape tomatoes, several varieties of apples, broccoli crowns, sweet potatoes, green and red cabbage, Irish potatoes, collards, romaine lettuce, apple slices, sweet potato chunks, strawberries, yellow squash, zucchini and blueberries.
Visit www.ncfarmtoschool.com for more information.