We promote and protect the health of the public and the environment.
Music Interlude- :00-1:30
Diann Reece: Did you get a salad, Tyler?
Diann Reece: No? Okay. I am looking for my salad eaters. My salad eaters get a ticket.
Diann Reece: I know each child by name. You know, they will pick up if you’ll encourage them. They will pick up a fruit or a vegetable that they haven’t tried but they have to be, you know, talked to like an adult I guess and say, “Hey, we have something new today, I want you to try it. You may not like it but you may like it.”
Student: I like my salad because I love salad. I eat it all the time.
Pat Carter: It’s amazing to watch their faces when they see something they have never seen before and taste it. We put roasted cauliflower on our menu this year and I was so pleased to find out that many of the children came back to the lunch ladies and said how wonderful it was.
Donna Hammond: The Farm to School program is a fabulous opportunity for the students to be able to have all the fresh fruits and vegetables. It will give the students opportunities to visit farms and see how these fruits and vegetables are growing. Not only that but it also helps us keep the money here in South Carolina.
Diann Reece: You know I introduce the students to products from South Carolina. Today we have peaches. They love peaches.
Gray Wagoner: We are personally very invested in this program and having local produce on our menu. Not only because it supports out local economy but the food is fresher, it’s a better quality. You don’t have to keep it in storage for weeks trying to get it across the country or bringing it into the country. The more awareness that we can bring to the students about local produce will get them more interested in eating and it’s going to change the mind set that we have about what’s good to eat and what’s good for them and it’s going to change our culture. You are seasonally and you ate with what was grown in your local community because that’s all you had. And that’s the move we are trying to make.
Teacher: John, what did you get to grow, sweetie?
Diann Reece: We had collards yesterday for lunch, fresh collards. We do not put salt in them or any type of grease. We use like a beef base and pepper and we fixed them a whole case and we had two servings left. So that shows you how much kids will eat fresh vegetables if you will put them out for them.
Student: Where’s your fruit cocktail?
Manager: The staff in the kitchen are exited about it. They are very excited about having local greens or tomatoes or cucumbers grown in St. Helena or Yemassee.
Ben Madden: Just the level of involvement has really kind of surprised me because everybody wants to be involved in the schools from the students to the teachers and of course our cafeteria staff to the facility and maintenance folks. Everybody wants to be involved and so it has really been something that has been almost a bonding experience for the schools so I think its really going to be a great experience for everybody. You know, a lot of the time you hear of this new program and you think it’s going to be a lot of work but really its not. I honestly think a lot of the cafeteria managers will realize that they are doing a lot of it already.
Diann Reece: It’s a little worrisome you know, having to wash fresh fruits but you have to look at it like this, the kids are enjoying it. They love the fresh fruits. They love the fresh vegetables. It may be a little extra trouble but in the long run, it’s for the best.
Teacher: They have about 60% which is a lot of vitamin C in it but this one here can have 240% of vitamin C in it.
Donna Hammond: I was visiting one of the cafeterias and they were serving fresh broccoli and some of these younger children have never seen fresh broccoli and they were holding them up in the air going, “Look I’m eating trees, I’m eating trees!” So they had never actually had fresh broccoli and they we’re loving it. They couldn’t get enough of it. It was almost like a snack and a treat to them. So yeah, that was pretty amazing to see that.
Music interlude 5:35- 5:57