Working with Local Farms

TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services continues to work with local farms to provide fresh, tasty, and healthy foods to all students in the district.

Last year, TCAPS planned more hot vegetables in our school meals in addition to providing daily salad bars to continue to increase local produce consumption in the schools. See the photo gallery below of local farmers who we purchase product from. External LinkFoodCorps, in conjunction with TBAISD, is working to develop classroom videos showing External LinkFoodCorps’ daily classroom lessons. They hope that these videos will allow more schools to incorporate the FoodCorps programs into their curriculum. We are working with the FoodCorps instructors to come up with recipes for future produce that we would like to introduce into our meals and that they can include in their lessons. TCAPS is also working hard to add more community businesses that we partner with to increase consumption of other local products. We recently worked with External LinkStone House Bread to increase our fresh artisan bread choices for this school year in our secondary schools which now feature Friday Panini day.

TCAPS is proud to be partnering with External LinkGoodwill Industries. Last year, the chefs at Goodwill Industries created a marinara sauce for TCAPS using local tomatoes. TCAPS students taste-tested the sauce and gave it their approval. Goodwill Industries roast and freeze local tomatoes, then make the district’s marinara on an as needed basis and deliver it to our schools. In addition to the marinara, Goodwill Industries also bakes breakfast muffins for TCAPS using frozen, local blueberries. They also look to source Michigan whole grain flour and sugar to use in the muffins.

TCAPS’ Farm-to-School partner External LinkBetween the Bays: Warren Orchards supplies food to Old Mission Peninsula School. Their orchard surrounds the school building, so the students are able to literally watch their food grow and be harvested.

External LinkCherry Capital Foods of Traverse City continues to supply locally grown honey, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, watermelon, broccoli, onions, blueberries, strawberries, green peppers, zucchini, squash, and frozen cherries while supplies last. TCAPS is currently purchasing some of our produce from Mi Farms Co-op which is located in Leelanau County. Lastly, springtime brings us asparagus from the External LinkNorkonk Farm in Empire.

We have also been working with Brandon Seng of Goodwill Food Programs and the Farm to Freezer initiative. This program will help expand local food offerings throughout the year as Video Documentshowcased in the video of Brandon’s efforts in collaboration with Calvin Lutz Farms.

TCAPS will also be working to expand its Farm-to-School and local purchasing programs into concessions and catering operations this school year.

Ten Cent Program to Continue at TCAPS: School Meals Include More Local Fruit & Vegetables

This year is a very exciting year for us. For the last three years, TCAPS has piloted a local fruit and vegetable program where the district has received 10 cents per meal for each meal that includes local fruits or vegetables. This program was funded through The Groundworks Center and TBAISD who used money from local donations.

Last year, we asked Senator Booher to write a bill that would help fund/expand the program. Thanks to his efforts, $250,000 in state appropriations was included in this year's final State Aid budget to help fund this program through a competitive grant process. TCAPS applied for the grant and will receive $48,500 to spend on Michigan fruits and vegetables.

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