Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) School Nutrition was recently named the winner of a Golden Radish Award with Honorary Status from the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture, Georgia Organics, and University of Georgia Extension. This award recognizes farm-to-school food procurement, education and activities.

RCPS Executive Director of School Nutrition Peggy Lawrence said, “The partnership with Cooperative Extension played a huge role in the success of the ‘Feed My School’ initiative at C.J. Hicks Elementary, which was a vital part of receiving this award. We are very proud of our ongoing efforts to get Georgia Grown food items on the trays of our students, and we look forward to making this an even more robust initiative moving forward.”

As part of the farm-to-school efforts recognized by the Golden Radish Award, RCPS featured locally grown food items on the school menus daily amounting to over 3.6 million meals. Local items included mixed greens from Oxford Organic Farm, strawberries from Mitcham Farms, and whole-wheat flour – used in made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls – grown and milled at Back to Basics Farm in Cochran. RCPS also partnered with UGA Extension to educate students on locally grown food. Mitcham Farms, UGA Extension Agent Jacob Wolfe, Back to Basics Farm, and Sutherlands Food Service presented at two student assemblies on local food distribution. Local food in school meals was promoted with four different “dress-like” days. Students dressed up as their favorite fruit, vegetable, dairy product, and farm animal.

The awards ceremony was held October 30, 2017 at the historic Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta. For more on RCPS School Nutrition and to see RCPS menus, go to www.rockdaleschools.org/meals.