Farm to lunch table: Making student lunches healthy

    10:56 AM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Fresh and delicious may not be the words that come to mind when you think school lunch, but many school districts in Arkansas are working hard to change that.

    It's lunch time at Bismarck Elementary.  On the menu, Salad with fresh lettuce, cucumbers and peppers.  All grown a few miles down the road.

    Jay Fulbright, who runs a green house style farm outside Malvern is the source for much of the school's produce.

    Fulbright says there's a lot of benefits to eating locally grown food.

    "The closer you are to your food supply, especially in fruits and vegetables is really important as far as the nutritional quality. Which is very important for the kids"

    Take lettuce, for example.  Fulbright says one day it's in the ground on the farm, the next day on the lunch tray.

    "The fresher they are, the more nutritious they are and obviously the better quality."

    The farm to school movement is one that Arkansas Children's Hospital Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program is trying at several Arkansas schools.

    Andrew Carberry, the program development coordinator for the Program says the logistics make sense.

    "They procure lettuce and peppers just 8 miles down the road and they serve those to all cafeterias several times a week."

    In the cafeteria at Bismarck Elementary, students say they notice a difference in taste and are loving the change.

    Fourth grader Conor Kopku says it makes school lunches more appealing.

    "You get fresh and it's almost as though you can almost imagine the farm a lot easier and how it works and it's made."

    Locally grown produce is served 2 to 3 times a week in the Bismarck School District.

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