• By Jasmine S Agyemang
  • Wednesday, September 25, 2019

MCSD Nutrition Program receives state award for farm-to-school initiatives


Muscogee County School District

2960 Macon Road Columbus, GA 31906

For Immediate Release
Mercedes Parham
Director of Communications and Open Records Officer
Office: (706) 748-2034
Fax: (706) 748-2036

Columbus, GA – The Muscogee County School District Nutrition Program was honored with a gold level recognition during the 2019 Golden Radish Awards ceremony September 17, 2019 in Atlanta. The District was one of 90 school districts in Georgia recognized.

The Golden Radish Award is given to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in Georgia who are doing extraordinary work in farm to school. This work includes best practices in farm-to-school programs such as local food procurement, exposing students to new foods through taste tests, and incorporating gardening and cooking activities in curriculum. LEAs are recognized at five levels: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze and Honorary.

“School nutrition is not an ‘extra’ – it’s part of offering a well-rounded education to students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Kids who have access to fresh, healthy, locally grown foods are better equipped to learn.”

The award highlights notable farm-to-school achievements from the 2018-2019 school year:

  • The School Nutrition Department served more than 614,000 school meals with food sourced from local farms, including Southern Press and packing, Bland Farms, Mercier Orchards, Herndon Farms, Dickey Farms, and many more.

  • Carver High School implemented an advanced course in food and nutrition, “Food for Life, ” which explores nutritional needs throughout the life cycle. The course offers a pathway into dietetics, consumer foods, and nutrition science careers.

  • South Columbus Elementary partnered with Georgia Organic’s Georgia food Oasis, Synovus Bank, and Home Depot to help establish and maintain their school garden.

  • Students from Veterans Middle School taste tested a variety of items from their school garden, including red, gold, and purple potatoes. Students also dried fresh mint leaves to make their own tea.

“School Nutrition is proud of this prestigious award, but this is an award for the entire school district.Our schools are providing wonderful events and activities to educate our students on the importance of fresh products grown in Georgia, whether fruits, vegetable, or meats,” said Susan Schlader, Director of School Nutrition.

Georgia Organics created the Golden Radish Awards in 2015 to raise awareness for Georgia’s emerging Farm to School programs and share the best practices among awardees. Georgia Organics’ chairs the Golden Radish Committee and facilitates the awards process annually to recognize Farm to School excellence across Georgia.

“Like farmers, school nutrition directors take their responsibility to feed our community seriously,” said Alice Rolls, CEO and President of Georgia Organics. “Each are experts at maximizing resources, especially their own energy for the good of eaters. Farm to School brings them together in work that fosters community, environmental and nutritional wellbeing.”

The Golden Radish Awards partners include Georgia Organics, Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture (GDA), Education (GaDOE) and Public Health (GDPH), the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension (UGA Extension).

The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.

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