Once again state officials served up the Golden Radish Award to the Cobb County School District (CCSD) in recognition of Cobb’s commitment to farm to school nutrition.
Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture, Education and Public Health, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, and Georgia Organics recently came together at the historic Georgia Railroad Freight Depot to celebrate CCSD and other Golden Radish Award-winning districts for having outstanding farm-to-school programs.
CCSD achieved the Gold level for the district’s accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year, including:
- Featuring locally-grown food on the school menu on 144 days, which amounts to nearly nine million meals that included a local food item.
- Highlighting a Georgia grown item on the menu monthly. (Cafeteria managers promoted the featured item through serving line tags, window clings, and bulletin boards with information on local farms where the produce was sourced.)
- Using mobile kitchen carts throughout the district to conduct cooking demonstrations and food activities with students. (Produce grown by students in school gardens was used in lessons using the kitchen carts.)
From local food procurement to hosting taste tests and gardening with students, the Golden Radish Award publicly recognizes school districts for all aspects of farm to school.
Districts like CCSD utilize farm-to-school programs to teach academic standards in school gardens, support the local economy through local food purchases for school meals, and fight childhood obesity and other preventable food-related diseases.
“Access to fresh, locally-grown food is not just important for students’ physical health – it’s part of their academic development as well,” said State Superintendent Richard Woods. “When children eat fresh, healthy meals, they have the fuel they need for a successful day of learning.”
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black notes that while farm-to-school efforts support academic achievement, it also helps build a strong agricultural economy.
“Feed My School For a Week, Georgia Grown Test Kitchen, and the Golden Radish Awards are all great ways for school nutrition to support Georgia producers, and we are excited as to what current and future award winners will accomplish as we work toward our 2020 Vision for School Nutrition in Georgia.”
Department of Public Health Commissioner J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D. champions healthy food access for children and supports farm-to-school efforts.
“The vitamins, minerals, and health benefits from local fresh fruit and vegetables not only allow our children to be physically healthy, but research has shown that healthy eating is also key to brain development,” said Commissioner O’Neal. “Here in Georgia, we are leading the nation in identifying ways to increase early brain development, and healthy nutrition is an enormous part of that.”
Read about Cobb earning the Golden Radish Awards in past years: http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?s=golden+radish
Learn about Green Acres Elementary School’s plans for a new school garden: http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?p=21395