MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota schools are replacing pizza and chicken tenders at lunch with fresher, locally grown foods as education leaders and nutritionists rethink the school meal system.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports that more than half of the state’s school districts now have a farm-to-school program. It’s becoming more common for schools to prep food on-site and have local chefs give input on the meals that serve as a key source of nutrition for students, including the 40 percent eligible for free and reduced-price lunch.
Advocates are recognizing Minneapolis as a national leader for its school food reform efforts. Over half of the district’s schools have on-site kitchens, and the rest receive food from its central kitchen.
The district’s farm-to-school coordinator, Kate Seybold, says sourcing locally saves money and brings learning to the lunchroom.