Photo credit: KVAL-TV, Eugene Oregon
All the food – all of it – served in the Fairfield Elementary School in Eugene, Oregon’s Bethel district last Wednesday was locally grown and/or produced in their town’s pretty immediate area, it was reported by KVAL-TV.
“Every bite was produced in Oregon,” the station declared.
Farmers and representatives from companies like Franz Bakery came to the cafeteria to serve the food to kids.
Bethel nutrition director Jennie Kolpak says the special lunch was intended to introduce students to the idea of eating locally.
Kolpak says locally-produced food is better for Oregon’s economy, and healthier for kids.
But that idea isn’t unfamiliar to the Bethel District.
“Every day, every single meal that we serve has some local items in it,” says Kolpak. “About 40 percent of the food we serve is grown or processed in Oregon.”
Kolpak says Bethel is one of the best districts in the state in locally-produced, nutritious food.
Wednesday’s food came from all over the state, but a lot of Bethel’s food comes from much closer to home.
Fairfield boasts a school garden with tomatoes, peas and other plants.
And recently, a four-acre field on district property was turned into a functioning farm.
“We harvested thousands of pounds of vegetables this summer,” says Bethel Farm manager Kasey White. “And we’re supplying fresh food to our cafeterias.”
Going forward, a goal for the Bethel district is to expand access to nutritional and physical education to give kids healthy habits.