Hamburg gravy, blueberry muffins, corn on the cob highlight area-sourced menu.
The Ridgway (PA) school district, a typical small rural system sitting in the middle of a community of small farms, recently held a successful local foods day at its schools. The event was highly successful, “really wonderful,” says Ridgway's foodservice director, Rena Urmann, RD. “We served Hamburg gravy made with beef from a local farm, blueberry muffins made with local berries and fresh corn on the cob, which was shucked by a group of 5th graders.”
The goal of the event was to teach students about healthy eating as well as about where food comes from, she adds. “Our superintendent, Tom Butler, wants community investment in the schools, and a good way to do that in a rural district like this is to work with farmers.”
In all, some 360 elementary students enjoyed the locally produced meal. A modified version was served to secondary students.
“The school board is excited after seeing how well this went, and they want to have even bigger events like it next year,” says Urmann. “We're also trying to push more local purchasing for the regular lunch program.”
Area farmers' products that could be sold in the schools include carrots, peppers, broccoli and cucumbers. There is also an apple orchard nearly.