Wednesday marks the 9th year in a row the Washington state Department of Agriculture has teamed up with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Washington state Nutrition Association to host Taste Washington Day. The October 2nd event encourages partnerships between local farmers and school districts to get Washington-grown products in the cafeteria.
The WSDA’s Chris Iberle said districts that participate will see several new features this year. One emphasis he noted is that Taste Washington Day goes beyond fruits and vegetables
“Washington farmers are growing grains, dairy, meat and proteins, too, and those are other key parts of school lunches and we’re seeing a lot of increased interest in working with Washington growers to highlight those Washington grown ingredients on school menus too.”
Iberle noted that fewer and fewer school aged children are connected to farming or familiar with agriculture in the 21st century. So, taste Washington Day, in an opportunity to take the farm to the kid.
“It provides an opportunity for all school districts across the state, big, small, urban, rural, to highlight Washington agriculture and connect kids and students with where their food comes from.”
Governor Jay Inslee has officially proclaimed Wednesday as Taste Washington Day.
“Taste Washington Day is a great way to illustrate the connection between the agricultural community and the nutritious food our children need to succeed and prosper,” said WSDA Director Derek Sandison.
The USDA estimates schools in the Evergreen state spend more than $17 million a year on Washington-grown foods.
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