March saw the successful debut of DC Farm to School's newest program - Local Food THROWDOWNS. Chef Tom visited 9 schools in March, engaging 1,000 elementary school students in an exciting and interactive taste test of Jammin' Spinach Salad, which paired crisp and nutritious spinach with a super-healthy raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a handful of tangy-sweet dried cranberries.
After students had a chance to eat their school lunch, Chef Tom handed out individual samples of the spinach salad, and asked them to try it with an open mind, and offer their feedback and thoughts on what they like or don’t like about the sample. Chef Tom also engaged the students in a discussion of why spinach is super healthy, and why eating local foods is important.
Chef Tom heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students that they LOVED their spinach salads and wanted to see more spinach on their school menus in the coming months.
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 April is Radishes - and our Local Food THROWDOWN recipe will be a colorful and vibrant Rockin' Red Radish Salsa!
(Special thanks to SweetGreen for donating 14 lbs of organic spinach for our March events!)