Biloxi schools serving cafeteria food grown on Mississippi farms
October 8, 2014 at 6:06 PM CDT - Updated July 23 at 5:10 AM
BILOXI, MS (WLOX)
Cafeteria food has taken on a fresh, new twist in the Biloxi School District. This week, Biloxi schools are serving dishes that feature products grown in Mississippi. There are several tempting reasons behind the unusual taste test.
The food came fresh from the farm straight to the cafeteria. The pepper strips and zucchini came from Leakesville, the southern peas came from Churchill and the main entree featured catfish from the Delta.
"The catfish looks really good," one boy commented.
October is National Farm to School Month. This week, North Bay Elementary joined other schools in Biloxi in serving up products that are grown close to home. The slogan is ‘Mississippi Y'all.'
"Each day, we are focusing on an item that is grown in Mississippi. Today, we are focusing the whole menu on Mississippi grown products. Just trying to bring awareness to where the food's coming from so the kids know it is a locally grown thing," said Jessica Jackson, Chartwells Food Manager.
Even the blueberries for the blueberry crisp came from Purvis.
"It is good. I've had some," a cafeteria worker told the students.
Teachers have been sharing the health benefits and other fun facts in class about eating fresh fruits and veggies.
"A lot of them will try it once it's on their plate. Usually, once they take a bite or two, they realize, wow, this is really great," said teacher Trisha Ganey.
"That food was amazing. Awesome. The best we've had at North Bay," another teacher commented.
The grown-ups gave the dishes rave reviews, but what about the young food critics?
"I thought it was delicious," said fourth grader Dominic D'Aquin.
Dominic's favorite was the catfish. His friend, Jayden Gipson, agreed.
"It's awesome. It's wonderful. I never tried it before," Jayden said. "Some of us are born here, and it's important to try new things."
Next on the Mississippi-made menu: Baked sweet potatoes and marinated cucumbers and tomatoes.
"The kids are loving the fruits and vegetables. A lot of them don't have the opportunity at home to get fresh vegetables, so we have to offer it at school. We're trying hard. We care about our kids here," said Jackson.
Next year, the cafeteria crew is hoping to plant a garden to grow fresh fruits and vegetables.