Hartford Brings Local Food From Farm to Schools

FoodCorps service members in Connecticut

Via NBC Connecticut

Lonnie Burt is working the Milner Middle School lunchroom like a chef working a dining room, talking up today’s special: locally grown Swiss chard. 

“When you look at what the least consumed nutrients in our country are, it’s the fruits and vegetables category,” said Burt, Senior Food Services & Child Nutrition Director. 

That’s something you expect to hear from the district’s senior director of child nutrition. But what you might not expect: Principal Leonardo Watson telling the kids it was grown just steps away from their school.

“From a dietician’s point of view, the less food travels, the more nutrients there are in it,” Burt said. 

It’s the soft launch of Hartford’s farm to school program, an effort to take the trendy farm-to-table restaurant sensation into the school lunchroom. 

But it’s only nutritional if the kids actually eat it, Burt says. She’s enlisted the help of people like Claire Sickinger, a FoodCorps service member, to do a taste test with the kids.