Georgia is home to the Golden Radish Award. This special award1 is given to Local Educational Agencies in Georgia that are doing extraordinary work in farm to school. In 2018, 84 Georgia school districts were awarded a Golden Radish Award for their efforts during the 2017-2018 school year, including six FoodCorps Georgia school districts!
Out of the six award-winning school districts FoodCorps Georgia serves, two were awarded a Platinum level award, three were awarded a Gold level award, and one was awarded a Bronze level award. Carrollton City Schools, a FoodCorps service site since the 2016-2017 school year, was recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Farm to School District!
Learn more about the six award-winning districts below, and learn about the impact of the Golden Radish Award on statewide farm to school activities by reading the 2014-2017 Golden Radish Award Evaluation.
Carrollton City School District – Outstanding District Award
Carrollton City Schools received the 2018 Outstanding District Award for establishing a STEM-focused farm to school model encompassing school gardening and an after-school culinary club, led by their FoodCorps service member. Carrollton also served food from local farms during school meals and forged numerous community partnerships. Carrollton City Schools has been a FoodCorps service site since the 2016-2017 school year.
- Carrollton City Schools provided over 220 total taste tests of over 80 different foods —120 of those taste tests included locally grown foods and many of those included foods from the district’s 27 school gardens!
- The district procures produce from over 25 different local farmers through their distributor alone, including Jaemor, Baker, Southern Valley, Moore & Porter, Hillside Gardens, Pero Farms, Genuine Georgia, Ken Corbitt, Southern Press & Pack, F&R Farms, L&M, L&R Farms.
Jackson County Schools – Platinum Level Golden Radish Award
Jackson County Schools has been a FoodCorps service site since the 2017-2018 school year. They were previously partnered with former FoodCorps service site, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, since the 2016-2017 school year.
- School Nutrition’s Facebook page engaged the community in farm to school programming by sharing recipes that students had prepared and taste-tested. They also shared videos promoting their Harvest of the Month hydroponic lettuce salad, strawberry salsa, and kale breakfast smoothie.
- Students in Mrs. Curtis’s Food Science class participated in the Farm to School Student Chef Competition hosted by the Georgia Department of Education. Students won third place in the state with their spicy chicken wrap recipe that followed school nutrition guidelines and featured two Georgia-grown items.
- As an incentive for good behavior, students can earn a cooking lesson with FoodCorps Service Member, Ms. Gracelyn. Ms. Gracelyn works with the teachers at her service sites to provide fun cooking and gardening activities to engage students in trying new vegetables.
Atlanta Public Schools – Gold Level Golden Radish Award
Atlanta Public Schools has partnered with FoodCorps service site, Wylde Center, since the 2017-2018 school year. They were previously partnered with former FoodCorps service site, Captain Planet Foundation, since the 2014-2015 school year.
- The district collaborated with community partners2 to lead over 20 farm to school events for students. One of those events, the Fourth Annual Fruit and Veggie Land Farm to Table event, engaged over 500 pre-kindergarten students across 37 sites in developing healthy bodies and minds with themed literature, costumed fruit and vegetable characters, healthy activities, and enjoying a vegetarian school meal.
- The Student Wellness Ambassador Leadership Academy hosted a “Just Grow” event for students to interact with farmers and explore hands-on gardening activities in the Parkside Elementary garden. They also hosted the Ace Jr. Chef Cooking Competition to encourage fourth and fifth-grade students to develop healthy and creative recipes with the assistance of local chefs.
DeKalb County School District – Gold Level Golden Radish Award
DeKalb County School District has partnered with FoodCorps service site, International Rescue Committee, since the 2017-2018 school year. They were previously partnered with former FoodCorps service site, Captain Planet Foundation, since the 2014-2015 school year.
- DeKalb County School Nutrition features locally grown food items daily basis for a total of 3,833,830 meals. Sourced from 29 partner farms through Royal Food Service, daily offerings are complemented by a “specialty Farm to School” item at least once a month.
- There are 52 edible gardens within DeKalb County School District, which are maintained with all-natural pesticides and planted with non-GMO products. Gardening is incorporated into the STEM curriculum and used as an instructional tool.
Marietta City Schools – Gold Level Golden Radish Award
Marietta City Schools has been a FoodCorps service site since the 2017-2018 school year.
- Over 1,000 elementary school students sampled Garbanzo Bean Salad as part of October Farm to School Month’s Make Room for Legumes campaign. The students proclaimed the salad a hit and it is now a regular menu item at Marietta High School!
- Atlanta United, Georgia Organics, and FoodCorps Georgia hosted a Farm to School Day at Park Street Elementary. Third-grade students enjoyed painting recycled milk cartons from the cafeteria and planting kale seeds in them. Four Atlanta United players ate lunch with students and talked to students about the importance of healthy eating. Atlanta United’s Executive Chef, Matt Finley, and team Goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, spoke to fifth-grade students about the role of nutrition in professional athletics.
Richmond County School System – Bronze Level Golden Radish Award
Richmond County School System has been a FoodCorps service site since the 2018-2019 school year.
- Twenty farm to school standards-based lessons were taught throughout the year including eating in season, S.T.E.M based garden learning, vegetable growth and recipe writing, chicken life cycle, and a lesson discussing the growth of and nutrition properties of pumpkins.
- The district worked with many local farmers including, Lisa Dojan of Fisheads Aquaponic Lettuce. Not only did she supply many of the schools with her lettuce, but she built relationships with cafeteria managers while taking the time to educate them on proper storage and preparation of her produce. She also presented multiple in-class education lessons to students and starter resources and materials to help high school students working with aquaponic projects.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with Georgia school districts to support their farm to school efforts. If you are a school district interested in becoming a FoodCorps service site or are just interested in learning more about FoodCorps Georgia, please contact FoodCorps Georgia Program Manager, Sumer Ladd, at [email protected]. To learn more about Georgia Organics Farm to School, visit https://georgiaorganics.org/for-schools/