There was something special on the lunch menu on Sept. 13 at Sunrise Elementary School. Along with the ever-popular slice of cheese pizza, made with whole wheat crust and low-fat cheese, and a crisp chicken Caesar salad, students could choose from a variety of fruits and vegetables, including Colorado grown green beans and Palisade peaches.
Cherry Creek Schools Executive Chef Brandon Durio was on hand, passing out samples of roasted peaches.
“This is good!” exclaimed one fourth-grader. “Yummy,” another agreed.
It was all part of Colorado Proud School Meal Day, a statewide effort to encourage schools to incorporate Colorado products in their meals, to celebrate Colorado agriculture and to educate students about agriculture and healthy eating. More than 200,000 students in schools across the state participated.
“This celebration involves all aspects of the food system,” said Shaina Knight, Colorado Proud School Meal Day Program Manager. “From farms to distribution, regulatory agencies, chefs and staff, food is then enjoyed by students who are encouraged to shop locally. Not many realize the cooperation it takes to bring food to Colorado tables.”
Students in the Cherry Creek School District regularly enjoy locally grown produce and other food products. It’s part of the district’s commitment to providing school meals that are fresh, healthy and delicious.
“We support the farm to school connection by using Colorado produce and products as much as we can,” said Erika Edwards, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for CCSD. “We look forward to exploring additional ways for incorporating local foods into our menus and our products.”
Colorado Proud School Meal Day was supported by companies including Sprouts Farmers Market and FreshPack Produce, as well as the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Colorado Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.