Texas School LunchFor students at Blakeney Elementary, lunch has become something to look forward to, thanks to the school’s fantastic nutrition program.

“We offer a variety of fresh, local fruits and vegetables,” says Crystal Davis, nutrition manager at Blakeney. “We offer choices to the kids instead of just serving, so they have a choice of what they want to pick up. And most even know how many items it takes to make a full meal. Kids are always asking different questions about what we offer, and sometimes I’m surprised at the things they ask for.”

Some of the fresh produce includes local collards, corn, squash, peas and peaches. They’ve also received some unique products including grapples, guava, star fruit and dragon fruit through their fruit and vegetable grant.

“The kids like the fresh strawberries, watermelon, grapes and collards best,” she says.

Thanks to the fresh array and the kids being able to choose their own food, it’s made lunch much more enjoyable for them.

“Things have changed a lot in the program since I started,” she adds. “I’m constantly telling my ladies how much different the workload is.”

Blakeney works with the Feed My School program through the Georgia Department of Agriculture – which connects local producers to schools – providing them with fresh, healthy foods.

“Feed My School is an excellent program,” Davis says. “It allows the schools to get a lot of fresh, locally grown produce. It’s educational for all the students, as well as their families and the farmers.” Blakeney Elementary doesn’t have a school garden at the moment, but Burke County Middle School, which is part of the same district, does. First lady Michelle Obama visited them earlier this year in April. Davis says Blakeney currently hasn’t decided whether to add a garden or not, but anything is possible for the future.

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