Strawberries & Salad Greens 2012

“Our students always look forward to this day! We had a great time. One first grader said that this was the best lunch he’d ever had!” – Teacher, Hearst Elementary School

Every child in D.C. Public Schools and in dozens of public charter schools across the city enjoyed fresh, locally-grown strawberries and salad greens in their school lunch on Wednesday May 23rd! Strawberries & Salad Greens Day was a huge success, reaching students in over 150 cafeterias with farm-fresh school meals, and coordinating food education stations in over 50 school lunchrooms. 

The D.C. Farm to School Network at Arcadia, in conjunction with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, D.C. Public Schools, and Whole Foods Markets coordinated the event. Let me walk you through the event, with the help of some great pictures:

Farmers in the mid-Atlantic region grew berries and greens for D.C. schools. Produce for the event came from farms such as Spring Valley Farm in West Virginia, River View Farm in Pennsylvania, Barajas Farm in Virginia, and Kilmer’s Farm in West Virginia. Schools also worked with Sam Ullery, School Garden Specialist, to plant their own berries and greens in their school gardens as well!

D.C. Public Schools hosted a kick-off event at Maury Elementary School in Ward 6. Councilmembers Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh were among the many dignitaries who came to celebrate. Students at Maury made strawberry parfaits with Whole Foods Markets, tried colorful salads with Sweetgreen, tasted a home-made strawberry vinaigrette with Chartwells, and learn about root vegetables with Chef Indigo. See a slide-show of pictures from the great event here.

The D.C. Farm to School Network coordinated over 30 volunteers to help out with “Where Food Comes From” tables in school cafeterias. These educational displays included plants, seasonality charts, stickers, and more to remind students of the farm-to-table process. Thanks to Whole Foods, volunteers had awesome t-shirts and banners to hang! In total, over 50 schools in all 8 wards hosted “Where Food Comes From” tables in their cafeterias.

And of course, students enjoyed the fresh, locally-grown strawberries and salad in their school meals! Most D.C. Public Schools served theirs with all-muscle chicken, corn on the cob, a whole wheat roll – a great meal to mark the start of warm weather.  Many thanks to D.C. Public Schools and their foodservice vendors (Chartwells, Revolution Foods and DC Central Kitchen), as well as the charter schools and their participating vendors.  See a full list of participating schools and vendors on the Strawberries & Salad Greens website.  The produce was a hit –

“We encouraged students to try tasting the lettuce and most really enjoyed it. One student actually ran around telling others, “you HAVE to try this!”  – Volunteer, Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School

Photo credits: Kathy Brown, Sam Ullery, and D.C. Public Schools

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