Local Food THROWDOWNS in DC Lunchrooms this Spring!

The DC Farm to School Network is adding some excitement to elementary school lunchrooms this spring, and getting students excited about farm-fresh food with a series of fun and interactive Local Food THROWDOWNS!

Students will be encouraged to try samples of farm-fresh local ingredients prepared in new and exciting ways, and offer their feedback and thoughts on what they like or don’t like about the sample (with a strict “No yuck!” policy!), and encouraged to think about why serving and eating local food is important. The overarching goal is to get students excited about the amazing local foods that are already being served in their school meals! The program is on track to engage over 1,000 students each month.

The Local Food THROWDOWN program ties in with DC Farm to School's new Farm Fresh Feature effort, which helps schools celebrate a different local, in-season veggie each month. The Farm Fresh Feature for March is Spinach - and our Local Food THROWDOWN recipe is Jammin' Spinach Salad, which pairs crisp and nutritious spinach with a super-healthy raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a handful of tangy-sweet dried cranberries.

Each THROWDOWN will feature a different, colorful, farm-fresh, local foods: radishes in April, strawberries in May, and zucchini in June. (Remember: We’re trying to feature food that kids might not be likely to try on their own!)

We'll be partnering with 11 elementary schools in DC to develop delicious recipes featuring in-season, local produce - especially those hard-to-sell veggies that end up in the trash. Our partner schools for this pilot run of Local Food THROWDOWNS are Marie Reed Elementary, E.W. Stokes PCS, Garfield Elementary, Powell Elementary, Neval Thomas Elementary, Walker Jones Education Campus, DC Bilingual PCS, Miner Elementary, and Tree of Life PCS.

Special thanks to the Capital Area Food Bank and SweetGreen for their help in procuring the produce for these exciting events!

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