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. FoodCorps, in conjunction with TBAISD, is working to develop classroom videos showing FoodCorps’ 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 Stone 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 Goodwill 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 Between 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.
Cherry 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 Norkonk 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 througout the year as showcased 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.
10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms
TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services has participated with the Michigan Land Use Institute in the 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program. This local initiative aims to put more fresh, local foods in school cafeterias across the region. During the 2014-2015 school year, we received approximately $14,000 in reimbursements. We would like to thank the Michigan Land Use Institute, TBAISD, and local donors for making this program possible. We look forward to increasing our local food purchases next year and growing with the 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program. If you are interested in becoming involved or donating to the program, please visit: 10 Cents a Meal