Tuscan Kale Soup and Native American Corn Succotash are two dishes students in the Beacon City School District are taste testing in school cafeterias this year. September marked the beginning of a new Farm to School program in Beacon designed to get kids excited about fresh vegetables and eating real, wholesome food.
JV Forrestal is the first of four elementary schools to participate in a full-year of programming, such as Farmer in the Classroom visits, a school garden curriculum, a Chef in the Classroom cooking program, and field trips to Common Ground Farm.
This program is run by the Beacon Farm to School Collaborative (BFSC), a partnership of Hudson Valley Farm to School, Common Ground Farm and Hudson Valley Seed. “The goal of our program is to change kids’ attitudes and behavior toward eating fresh vegetables and to help them make healthier choices,” said Sandy McKelvey, executive director of Hudson Valley Farm to School.
Karen Pagano, food service director for the Beacon School District, has been instrumental in getting food service managers of the four elementary schools and the middle school on board to make the special local vegetable dish the chef creates each month.
In September, kale was the featured vegetable and the chef’s recipe in the classroom was Tuscan Kale Soup. It was served in all four elementary schools. At JV Forrestal, 86 percent of those that tried it liked it.