Students in St. Albans, WV enjoy fresh local products for lunch

[image] Fresh locally grown carrots on school salad bar.

Adults are often trying to get kids to eat their vegetables.  And Wednesday there was a celebration at McKinley Middle School in St. Albans, WV where kids asked for seconds.

It was all part of the Farm to School program, an effort aimed at buying local goods to feed school children.

"It was all grown locally and it was all healthier," said student Daniel White.

Everything from the lettuce, to the fruit, to the buns was locally produced.

"This was all picked Sunday or Monday," said Diane Miller, Nutrition Director for Kanawha County Schools.

Colorful carrots, freshly harvested watermelons and even locally made ice cream and muffins were served.

"It is better than just grabbing it out of the freezer and putting it on the stove," White said.

The idea is, with over $100 million spent annually to feed kids in West Virginia schools, why not keep some of that money local.

"We know that it is all fresh and made in the state," said student Matthew Rogers.

Miller has been heading up the effort to develop the Farm to School program in West Virginia, coordinating with farmers, bakeries, and other local vendors to add color and variety to student's lunch trays.

Wednesday students asked for second helpings of Brussels sprouts.

"I will definitely make sure they get it," Miller said, laughing.  She sees it as a move one step closer to convincing kids to eat better and live a healthier life.

"When they will eat it and not throw it away in the garbage can, I'd do this every day and that is what I am here for," Miller said.

According to the Farm to School Community Development Group, West Virginia has the highest percentage of family owned farms in the United States.

For more information on the program follow the link provided or call 304-558-3396.

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