The Cobb County School District once again won Gold recognition at the 2018 Golden Radish Awards held at the Georgia Freight Depot. The Golden Radish Award publicly recognizes Georgia school districts for best practices in farm to school programs, such as local food procurement, exposing students to new foods through taste tests and incorporating gardening and cooking activities in the curriculum.
“School gardens introduce new generations to the world of agriculture. They build a broader understanding of where our food comes from and what it takes to get it to the table, and they prepare future farmers to produce food innovatively, in ways that maximize resources and nurture our environment,” said Associate Dean for UGA Extension at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Laura Perry Johnson.
Cobb County School District received kudos for the following work:
- The district consistently serves over 1,000,000 pounds of locally grown produce per year!
- Cobb County Farm Bureau collaborates with educators to lead farm to school activities in the district. Last year, beekeepers from Hometown Honey visited King Springs Elementary to teach students about honey.
- Students used school garden grown produce for hands-on cooking activities, including making pepper jelly, herbed biscuits, school garden pizzas, and preparing meals for STEM night.
Cobb County School District was one of 84 Georgia School Districts recognized at the awards. Collectively, these districts served more than 1.3 million students a whopping 109 million school meals with locally grown food items during the 2017-18 school year!
“Farm to school teaches our children the importance of food that helps bodies grow healthy and strong and food that promotes learning,” said J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “When children learn as early as possible where their food comes from, they are more likely to eat fresh, nutritious foods that will sustain healthy choices that spread to families and communities.”
In addition to the 2018 Golden Radish Award, the Cobb County School District Food and Nutrition Services Department recently won two Georgia School Nutrition Best Practice Awards. Cobb’s Farm to School Programs were recognized for offering Georgia Grown foods on school menus, providing information and education about farms and where the products are sourced, and educating students about local food items through classroom visits, bulletin boards and information on the serving lines. Cobb’s Food and Nutrition department was recognized for promoting a Healthy School Environment by having comprehensive wellness programs including Wellness representatives at every school, local school activities, and nutrition education conducted by District staff at local schools.
Cobb’s Food and Nutrition also won an USDA Regional Best Practice Award for Promoting a Health School Environment. As a Georgia winner Cobb’s team moved on to regional “competition” and were recognized for the district’s comprehensive wellness programs.