Fayetteville Schools Receive USDA Food Grant

Posted on: 5:47 pm, November 15, 2012, by , updated on: 06:17pm, November 15, 2012

The menu at Fayetteville Public Schools will soon change. The district received a $99,058 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for their Farm to School program.

The school district works with farmers from Washington County to provide healthy local food options for students. The grant allows the district to expand and its Farm to School program, and educate students so they make healthy choices.

“We have found that if you can make a big deal out of local strawberries, they’re gonna really eat those strawberries,” said Dana Smith, Sustainability Coordinator for Fayetteville Public Schools.

The school district says they will use some of the grant money to train employees and purchase new equipment for cafeterias. “So that we can handle more local unprocessed food,” said Smith.

Fayetteville parents are pleased to hear about the grant, and want their kids eating healthy.

“Fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, protein, anything nutritious,” said Shilah Weaver, a parent.

The district says the funding allows them to stay within national healthy schools guidelines.

Smith told 5NEWS they are also looking at bringing in local food from farmers outside of Washington County. “We’re looking right now at some sweet potato products from eastern Arkansas,” said Smith.