GardenShare

GardenShare

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Win-win of local food in school lunches


Wayne County, New York, is the state’s biggest apple producer. Yet in 2013, public schools served lunches that included apples from Washington. At the end of the lunch period, the lovely, whole Washington apples ended up mostly uneaten in the garbage.
Foodlink, a Rochester, NY, food bank, set about solving the problem. A recent study showed that children were more likely to eat sliced fruit than whole. Since Foodlink had the facilities to wash, slice and package apples into portions, it decided to purchase apples from local farmers, process them, and sell them back to local schools.The program has been a success. Since July 2014, Foodlink has purchased 3.8 million pounds of local apples, investing $600,000 into the local agricultural economy. Children are eating the apple slices. And Foodlink uses revenue from apple sales in its own kitchen to prepare scratch-cooked meals for local school lunches, after-school and summer programs.

Source: NPR, 8/1/17, Investing in Apples