Bend-La Pine Schools on Monday will celebrate National Farm to School month by serving up from-scratch chicken noodle soup featuring carrots grown at a local farm at free meal sites throughout the district.
The effort is a partnership between Bend-La Pine Schools, a local farm and the Garden for Every School team at The Environmental Center in Bend.
“We are excited to showcase these locally grown and harvested carrots in our delicious homemade chicken soup,” said Garra Schluter, Nutrition Services Supervisor. “We work hard to partner with local farmers while providing the best food possible for our students.”
The local carrots are just one example of how Bend-La Pine Schools works with local agricultural businesses.
Every week our schools serve 3,500 pounds of apples and fruit from orchards in Kimberly and 500 pounds of beef from ranchers in Fossil.
Schools also use berries and melons from Mount Angel, wheat from Eugene to make from-scratch breads, pizzas, cinnamon rolls and pastries and fish and shrimp from the Oregon coast.
“It’s easy to celebrate Bend-La Pine Schools’ Nutrition Services during Farm to School month, because they do farm to school all year long,” said Tracy Ryan, Garden and Nutrition Educator with the Environmental Center. “They put in a lot of hard work creating menus for students that are packed with nutritious Oregon grown ingredients that students will enjoy.”
The carrots come from a farm in Tumalo and were planted and harvested with assistance from the Garden for Every School team.
On Thursday the carrots will be transformed into 140 gallons of soup by Nutrition Services staff members at the schools’ production kitchen.
Moday the soup will be served up in thousands of free meals given to students at 19 sites.
On average, our schools serve about 8,200 free meals to students each day.