This sign let children know something extra special was on the menu. This sign let children know something extra special was on the menu.

Last Monday, Miguelito Elementary School Garden Education Manager Abbi Marrs contacted Lompoc Unified School District Food Service Director Kathy Bertelsen to brainstorm about how they could use 40 heads of Red Leaf lettuce and eight heads of Romaine lettuce to give kids a chance to eat food grown in their own school garden.

One of the planter boxes at Miguelito Elementary School

One of the planter boxes at Miguelito Elementary School

The two decided to prep the lettuce at the district’s Central Kitchen, and cup it along with cucumber slices, which were already on the menu for Thursday’s vegetable side dish. The kid-sized salads were served with fresh, homemade ranch dressing.

Central Kitchen Lead Namroog Valencia washes and spins dry the lettuce grown at Miguelito Elementary School.

Central Kitchen Lead Namroog Valencia washes and spins dry the lettuce grown at Miguelito Elementary School.

Enthusiasm is infectious: Twice as many students as usual chose the vegetable side dish. Enthusiasm is infectious: Twice as many students as usual chose the vegetable side dish.

In addition to posting signs, the school principal built excitement with a series of special announcements about the school-grown salad. This is precisely the sort of teamwork we love to write about at School Food Action, where administrators, food service personnel, and educators work together to not only help children eat better, but better understand where food comes from in the first place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *