Locally Grown Produce Brings Change To Area Schools

By: Brett Baldeck Email
By: Brett Baldeck Email

HAVE KIDS NOTICED A DIFFERENCE?

"Apples that were shipped in most of them were showing up in the garbage can and a local grown apple had juice and good flavor to it. The kids are eating almost the entire apple," says Bill Jackson.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - From the farm, to the cafeteria, more schools are turning to local farmers to supply fresh produce in hopes kids will notice a difference.

"It's usually picked one day and it's in our schools the very next day. So it cuts down on the traveling time, it's picked fresh, it's picked when it is ripe," says Kim Simpson, Food Services Operations Coordinator for Bowling Green City Schools.

Bowling Green City Schools uses more than 6 local farmers to provide produce. New standards created 5 years ago required districts to offer more fruits and vegetables. So far, the additional foods have turned the cafeteria into a learning experience.

"They are starting to understand more of the growing seasons. When things are fresh and they are also seeing some of our farmers at the farmers market so they are making the connection there," says Simpson.

Before local farmers stepped in produce came from across the country. Jackson's Orchard has been providing local schools with fruit for the last 20 years. They say while kids can be some of the biggest critics, the changes have been positive.

"Apples that were shipped in most of them were showing up in the garbage can and a local grown apple had juice and good flavor to it. The kids are eating almost the entire apple," says Bill Jackson.

And with schools being one of Jackson's top customers, more growers are catching on.

"It is a ready market and the demand is there and you can get your money. So it's a win win situation," says Jackson.

Schools like Bowling Green hope to add more farms to their menu in the future.


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