Idaho schools adding local, fresh produce to the menu

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 19:17:03-04

BOISE — Local farms are bringing their produce straight onto the plates of Boise elementary students.

"We've got a Margherita pizza with local cheese, and basil and tomatoes, as well as local blueberries and green beans and milk," said food nutrition services assistant supervisor Katie Chadband.

It's called the Farm to Summer event, where the Boise School District teams up with the Idaho Department of Agriculture to open kids up to the idea of eating locally grown foods and incorporate food education at a younger age.

"They get to come in and try all these local foods, but they also get to go to a nutrition education lesson and learn where those foods are coming from," said Chadband.

Boise isn't the only school district incorporating fresh veggies into the mix.

Eight Caldwell schools are recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the upcoming school year. It means kids at those schools will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day.

Elementary schools in all 50 states are eligible for this program, but at least 50% of the student body must be on free or reduced-price meals. Priority is given to schools with even greater percentages of disadvantaged kids.

Last year, 121 Idaho schools participated in the program. Caldwell school district received nearly $160,000 for the program, o help keep their students healthy and full.