New lunch grant excites students

Farm to School grant holds a promising future for school lunches


Cole Denham

Junior Lola Powers gets her lunch June 2. The farm to school grant has made it possible for the school to get more food from local farms.

Taylor Voigt and Cole Denham

The new Farm to School lunch grant has students enthusiastic for the future of school lunches. The grant gives the food department more money to be able to spend on fresher and better food, and students said this will help them trust more in where the food is coming from.

Nutritional administrative assistant Jodie Woelffer said buying more from local farms is the goal of the new grant.

“We’ll be focusing on foods purchased from local farmers for things like produce and vegetables and those changes have already started,” Woeffler said. “In April and May we focused on a couple of the farms from Halstad, Minnesota for potatoes and then we had another farm for carrots. We’re buying products from farmers all over Minnesota and that’s what the Farm to School grant is all about.”

Nutritional operations supervisor Asya Phillips said almost all the food is currently from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“We already order a lot locally, everything we get besides pineapple is from the United States,” Phillips said. “Most of our produce comes from Wisconsin or around here, so we’ll just have more of that from local farms.”

Sophomore Annika Koch said healthy food at school may help students at home.

“I hope to see better and healthier food, and things that taste better,” Koch said. “I know they have a lot of people to feed but it’s still important to make it healthy. It will really benefit people who don’t get the right nourishment or healthy diets at home.”

Junior Patricia Lopez-Milian said it will also benefit students with diet restrictions.

“Students with allergies will know more about what processing the food went through,” Lopez-Milian said. “They’ll feel safer about where their food came from and if it was processed with peanuts or something else they’re allergic to.”

Phillips said the grant will open up more opportunities.

“The grant itself is giving us extra money to spend on (local produce), which we normally do not have the funds for,” Phillips said. “It’s also teaching the kids about all the local options that are available to them and about supporting local farmers.”

Koch said good food has a direct correlation to being more motivated.

“Healthier food affects your body and how well you do in school or sports,” Koch said. “This will create healthier students that can do more and do better in school.”