Breathitt County schools join Appalachia Proud to provide students with healthy local foods
For Immediate Release
Monday, September 8, 2014
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JACKSON, Ky. — The Breathitt County Schools system has taken a major step toward increasing its selection of healthy local foods for its students by joining the Appalachia Proud branding program as part of Farm to School efforts in the county.
“By taking this step, the Breathitt County Schools system has committed to serving its students the freshest, most nutritious foods,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “This commitment will help local students develop an appreciation for where their food comes from and start them on a healthful lifestyle. Local family farmers and small businesses will gain a new market for their products. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is happy to help them get this project off the ground.”
Appalachia Proud stands for foods raised, grown, and/or processed in 37 eastern Kentucky counties, including Breathitt County. As a member of Appalachia Proud, the Breathitt County Schools system is automatically enrolled in Kentucky Proud, the official state farm marketing program. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture administers both programs.
John H. Cain, a member of the newly formed Breathitt County Farm to School Task Force, said the partnership with Appalachia Proud was the first item on the task force’s agenda as it works to develop a Farm to School program in the county. The task force was formed in May and is made up of representatives of Breathitt County Schools, the local University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service office, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Community Farm Alliance, and Action for Healthy Kids, a national organization that works with volunteers, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations to fight the childhood obesity epidemic.
The task force plans to hold Farm Fresh Fridays starting Oct. 17 with the inclusion of locally grown apples as part of the school lunch in all five Breathitt County schools. Each Farm Fresh Friday will highlight a specific fruit or vegetable from local producers.
“We’re very excited to implement the Farm to School program in our school district,” said Tabitha Napier, school nutrition director for Breathitt County Schools. “It’s a great way to incorporate Kentucky-grown produce into our cafeterias for our students to enjoy.”
The Breathitt County Schools system spends around $600,000 on food annually and serves more than 600,000 meals per school year.
For more information on the Kentucky Proud Farm to School Program, contact Tina Garland, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program coordinator, at (502) 382-7505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Appalachia Proud, go to www.appalachiaproudky.com.