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From the White House to DC School Cafeterias: Local Flavor Week

September 18th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama opened the new FreshFarms Market by the White House. Next week, the fresh, local food movement will march not on the marble steps of the Capitol, but down hallways of the District’s public, charter and private schools. As part of this week’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” roll-out by the US Department of Agriculture, additional tools and $50 million in funds were announced to help bring healthy, local foods into schools, now, without waiting for Congress to take up school lunch re-authorization. (Which isn’t going to happen until next year.)

dc farm to school

Also not waiting for Congress to act is the new DC Farm to School Network, which is launching “Local Flavor Week” September 21-25 as the opening foray into bringing the regions farmers into local schools. Together with the Capital Area Food Bank, Whole Foods and other community partners, DC Farm to School is coordinating a full week of taste tests, cooking demonstrations, farmer visits and nutritional education activities. The festivities kick-off Tuesday at the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School cafeteria in Southeast DC, where local chefs Peter Smith of PS7 and Oliver Friendly of Eat and Smile Foods will compete Top Chef-style using ingredients grown in the school’s garden.

Andrea Northup, coordinator of the DC Farm to School Network, notes that the District has one of highest child obesity rates in the nation. “School-aged children consume most of their daily calories in school meals, so it makes sense that we should connect school with nearby sources of fruits and vegetables to serve in their cafeterias. The only way the District’s schoolchildren will thrive is if they are well nourished and armed with the skills they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

If you’re in the area, find out more about participating schools and activities — and volunteer opportunities — at And to find a Farm-to-School organization in your state, take a look at the National Farm-to-School map.

PS If you didn’t catch my live tweets from the White House market opening, here’s a slideshow recap (click picture to view):

white house farmers market whrrl

You can read more about the market opening, and see pics of the First Lady and Chef Kass (whom I missed waiting in the security line), on Cookography, Obama Foodorama and the twitter stream from @FreshFarmMktsDC.

Don’t forget it’s Fight Back Friday — visit the Food Renegade to join in!

Tags: at market · eatLocalDC · farmers market news · recipes

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener // Sep 21, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    glad to see your pictures Colleeen … and Michele Obama standing in front of Rappahannock County’s The Farm at Sunnyside. Did not realize security check was so heavy. We live in a crazy world.

    For those who want to continue the local flavor: at the end of the week (Sept 26 & 27) there is the Rappahannock County Farm Tour featuring over 20 venues showcasing local sustainable agriculture: meat farm, vegetable farm, vineyard, heirloom apple orchard, nurseries, farm school with lots of activities for the entire family. Come visit!

    The Rappahannock farm Tour is one reason that I have not posted much to my blog recently nor visited others very often over the last 2 months…

  • 2 Fight Back Friday September 18th | Food Renegade // Sep 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    […] Kids Make Pesto20. Colleen/FoodieTots (From the White House to DC Schools)21. Simple, Good, and Tasty (the environmental impact of cheap food)22. Kitchen Stewardship (Recipes […]

  • 3 Leather Wristbands %0A // Nov 24, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    you can always buy cheap foods on any supermarket these days because food production is mechanized already ~”-

  • 4 valentino
    Twitter: valentino
    // Sep 17, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Thank you so much!