Hugh Weathers, Commissioner of Agriculture, will participate in the It Takes You! Eat Local celebration at Arcadia Elementary School, 375 Spring St., in Spartanburg at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.
The event, sponsored by Chartwells School Dining Services a Division of the Compass Group, is designed to encourage the schools that they service to feature at least one or more locally grown produce items on their menu daily the week of September 21-25, 2009.
The celebration is part of an on-going partnership between Chartwells and South Carolina distributors, schools, and farmers designed to help children develop healthy eating habits. But, the program also helps to improve South Carolina farm income and direct access to markets.
For their effort to provide locally grown produce in their schools, Chartwells and Spartanburg School District 6 were presented the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) ‘Best Practice Award.’ The purpose of the award is to encourage and reward outstanding practices in schools in the southeast region of the U.S. and to share the winner’s strategies with other schools so that they can also improve their programs and services that are delivered to their students.
Commissioner Weathers is expected to commend the public-private partnership among Chartwells, produce distributors, and participating farmers and school districts. All around, the promotion educates students and customers about sustainability practices, the benefits of eating fresh, local produce and how buying local affects our communities and wellness.
For more information about the local produce in Spartanburg schools program, contact Ron Jones, Chartwells Director of Dining for Spartanburg District Schools.