Offering well prepared, healthy food that nourishes students is a cornerstone of the educational environment at The Learning Center Charter School. Using locally grown produce is icing on the cake.
The charter school is part of the NC Farm to School program which affords the school ample opportunity and access to healthy North Carolina produce.
The NC Farm to School program is run through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Food Distribution. During the 2011-12 school year, the NC Farm to School program delivered over one million dollars worth of NC produce to NC schools, reaching 1,003,921 students in 1,599 schools.
NC Farm to School gives North Carolina farms a viable market for their crops while providing schools a local source of fresh, seasonal produce. Produce includes watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, apples, cucumbers, red potatoes, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, romaine lettuce, apple slices, collards, sweet potatoes, strawberries, squash, zucchini and blueberries.
Hilary Ehlers, Child Nutrition Director at the school, said, “The Farm to School program not only provides easy access to foods grown locally but also opportunities for agriculture, nutrition and health education.”
Ehlers added that when a student makes the connection between agriculture and food, they realize that food comes from a farmer and not magically from the grocery store.
“Nutrition education is a key part of our mission at our school,” said Ehlers. “Our students tend vegetable gardens on campus and the produce we buy from local farmers through this program reinforces the lessons we teach daily.”
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