Oct. 31—Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools has launched Fresh to Schools, an initiative to increase menu selection of fresh produce for its students. Fresh to Schools was inspired by Oak Ridge High School’s student organization Youth 4 Change. According to a release, the students met with the district’s Food and Nutrition Services staff and school officials to address their desire for more fresh produce menu selections.
Fresh to Schools was launched last week at Oak Ridge High School. The foodservice department offers more than 20 servings per week of fresh fruits and vegetables in its meal and snack programs. Newly appointed Director of the Division of Food, Nutrition & Wellness for the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Robin Safley, with State Senator Gary Siplin, OCPS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins and Florida farmers Pero Family Farms and R.C. Hatton, attended the launch event.
For the Fresh to Schools program, the foodservice department is implementing a build-your-plate salad, using traditional salad bar components. The items are individually wrapped to meet food distribution guidelines. Some of the items for hte build-your-plate salad are being provided by local farmers.
“Our school salad concept allows students to choose from a variety of fruits and vegetables, while going through the lunch line. It keeps everything clean and easier to grab than salad bars of the past, while still meeting the USDA requirement for US Schools and our student customers’ requests,” Lora Gilbert, senior director of OCPS Food & Nutrition Services, said in the release.