You are the owner of this article.

State grant brings farm-to-table cuisine to local school cafeterias

  • Updated
  • 0
TownNews.com Content Exchange

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Farm-to-table cuisine is coming to local school cafeterias this fall thanks to a new state grant.

Just before the start of the 2019-2020 school year, members of the Saratoga Springs City School District’s school lunch staff attended a special training at Saratoga Spring High School with professional chefs Kevin London and Kim Klopstock.

The presentation, part of the grant-funded New York State Farm to School Program, focused on using fresh produce from the nearby Pitney Meadows Community Farm in meals served to children at school.

“Our goal is to provide fresh local produce for the Saratoga Springs City School District students,” said Saratoga Springs City School District’s school lunch program director Margaret Sullivan. “The idea behind it is that we want Kevin to show ways that we can incorporate Pitney Meadows Community Farm produce into our school lunch menus.”

London, who is closely associated with the farm and has worked in farm-to-table dining his whole career, demonstrated techniques for processing the produce, while sharing some new kid-friendly recipes.

London’s intention with the presentation was to introduce the idea of farm to table in institutional dining, while hopefully growing the relationship between the schools and Pitney Meadows Community Farm by showing them how to better utilize the products.

Wednesday’s demonstrations included produce like sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, tomatoes and ground cherries.

In addition to his role as a local chef, London has two kids in the school district, and is happy as a parent that they will benefit from this program. “We’re passionate about it,” London said about himself and his wife, who is a board member at Pitney Meadows Community Farm. “How they eat and what they eat is really important to us, and I think that it’s really important that kids are exposed to it at an early age.”

Pitney Meadows Community Farm education and programs committee chair Jody Terry, who recently retired from working in the school district, said the farm is “an amazing resource” for area schools.

Terry believes the Farm to School Program will help expose students to different kinds of foods, while making them aware of healthy food choices.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said training attendee Jean Crumb of Maple Avenue Middle School. “It will get kids more used to where their food is actually coming from.”

Practices learned at Wednesday’s presentation will be implemented in all eight schools throughout the district.

“This is very big and it’s the start of a very exciting partnership,” Sullivan told the group of staff members at the training.

The New York State Farm to School Program was created to connect schools with local farms and food producers to strengthen local agriculture, improve student health, and promote regional food systems awareness.

The local program is a partnership between Saratoga Springs City School District and Pitney Meadows Community Farm along with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County.

In addition to the Farm to School Program, Pitney Meadows Community Farm has partnered with schools by providing opportunities for student volunteers to learn about agriculture on the farm, which is located at 223 West Ave., less than a half mile from Saratoga Springs High School. Elementary school field trips to Pitney Meadows Community Farm are also offered through the grant.

This article originally ran on saratogian.com.

Locations

TownNews.com Content Exchange

More from our site

Load comments

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Top Stories