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“Feed My School for a Week” Pilot Program Launched

 Bleckley, Colquitt and Hall County schools slated to participate     MEDIA CONTACT:  Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,   - Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook     October 31, 2011  -- State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black today announced a partnership aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of proper nutrition and healthy eating. The “Feed My School for a Week” program will also teach Georgia students more about where their food comes from.   Bleckley, Colquitt and Hall County School Systems have been selected to pilot the “Feed My School for a Week” program during the 2011-2012 school year.   “Georgia is second in the nation in childhood obesity,” Superintendent Barge said. “The Feed My School for a Week program is a great first step in raising students’ awareness of nutritional options as well as promoting healthier meals in our schools.”   “This is a great leap forward to help show young Georgians where the food they eat is grown,” said Commissioner Black. “Through this program, students will learn about the processes taken to bring their school meals from a local Georgia farm to the cafeteria table, while simultaneously receiving a healthy, delicious meal.”   The phrase “Farm-to-School” is becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. when it comes to offering healthy, fresh produce options to students. To keep Georgia a step above the rest, the State Departments of Education and Agriculture have combined their efforts to better assist all school districts in this initiative.   The “Feed My School for a Week” program aims to help bridge the gap in the nutritional value and quality of food served in Georgia schools, while providing more farm to cafeteria opportunities. The result will be healthier Georgia students, decreased barriers in farm to school efforts and increased awareness as students learn and experience, both educationally and nutritionally, where their food comes from.   Each of the three school systems will be represented by an elementary school in their district. During a one-week period in the spring semester, all lunches served out of each selected school’s cafeteria will consist of 75-100 percent Georgia grown food. The schools will host an agriculture guest speaker, hold “taste tests” for Georgia commodities, and conduct an essay contest. There will also be an art contest at each school that is focused on a single Georgia commodity, in addition to several other educational activities throughout the designated week.