Colbert school kids will soon fill their stomachs with all locally grown food.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black announced that Colbert Elementary is one of the five schools selected across the state to participate in the second “Feed My School for a Week” program sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Department of Education.
Local leaders attended a lively assembly recently at Colbert Elementary in celebration of the program. A number of characters in costume — such as the Cat in the Hat, Hairy Dawg, Curious George and others — entertained Colbert students and joined in a vegetable toss for prizes. The students repeatedly heard the message of eating healthy and appreciating the importance of agriculture in their lives.
Leaders say the “Feed My School” program was created to “increase awareness about the importance of proper nutrition and healthy eating, while assisting schools in sourcing local produce and products.”
“The pilot program of Feed My School was such a great success that we were encouraged to expand the program to five schools across the state,” said Commissioner Black. “With this program, students will discover the importance of agriculture through learning about the process that brings local produce and goods from an area farm to the cafeteria table while at the same time receiving a healthy, delicious meal.”
According to a state press release on the program, the phrase “Farm-to-School” is “becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. when it comes to offering healthy, fresh produce options to students. To keep Georgia a step above the rest, the State Departments of Education and Agriculture have combined their efforts to better assist all school districts in this initiative.”
The program is designed to provide more farm to cafeteria opportunities.
“The result will be healthier Georgia students, decreased barriers in farm to school efforts and increased awareness as students learn and experience, both educationally and nutritionally, where their food comes from,” leaders say.
During a one-week period in the spring semester, all lunches served out of each selected school’s cafeteria will consist of 75-100 percent Georgia Grown food. The schools will host an agriculture guest speaker, hold “taste tests” for Georgia commodities, and conduct an essay contest. There will also be an art contest at each school that is focused on a single Georgia commodity, in addition to several other educational activities throughout the designated week.
The four other schools selected for the 2013 school year are West Chatham Elementary in Savannah, Skyview Elementary School in Macon, Sharon Elementary in Cumming and Southside Elementary School in Cairo.