Agriculture, and a connection to local foods, is a part of our heritage shared by many in Texas. In order to strengthen, or establish that connection among students, Austin ISD Food Services is continually striving to incorporate more local, healthy options into their schools. This month, they are taking Farm Fresh Fridays, a Texas Department of Agriculture local produce initiative, to a whole new level. Beginning Friday, Feb. 12, the lunch menu at all campuses will offer Johnson’s Backyard Garden organic carrots.
AISD Executive Chef Louis Ortiz crafted a winter harvest carrot recipe featuring glazed organic carrots seasoned with Herbs de Provence. The promotion will run each Friday through March 11.
Since Johnson’s Backyard Garden became an approved vendor for the district last fall, their produce has been a great local addition to Austin school cafeterias. Most recently, Johnson’s Backyard Garden produce has been the featured vegetable during a series of made-to-order salad bar launches. The highly successful salad bars are currently operating at 13 AISD campuses, with plans to double that number by the end of the school year.
With the support of students, parents, faculty and community partners like Sustainable Food Center, AISD Food Services looks forward to incorporating more local options into their menus. Beyond the local foods on the lunch line, district partners are also striving to build awareness among students about where their food comes from, through efforts like SFC’s Meet the Farmer events. These collaborative efforts, along with education and awareness, allows AISD to continue offering healthy options to its students.