CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award at Top Platinum Level!

CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award at Top Platinum Level!

From left to right: Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls, Cherokee County School District School Nutrition Director Tina Farmer, Georgia Department of Health Commissioner Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, UGA Associate Dean for Extension Dr. Laura Perry Johnson, and Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods.

The Cherokee County School District has earned the highest honor in the State for providing fresh, healthy meals to students!

The Cherokee County School District has earned the highest honor in the State for providing fresh, healthy meals to students!

From left to right: School Board Chair Kyla Cromer, CCSD School Nutrition Coordinator Amanda Fleming and Director Tina Farmer and Chief Financial Officer Ken Owen.

CCSD’s School Nutrition program, which serves 5 million meals each year in school cafeterias, won the Golden Radish Award at the Platinum Level from the Georgia’s Departments of Agriculture, Public Health, Education and Georgia Organics.

“Access to fresh, locally grown food is not just important for students’ physical health – it’s part of their academic development as well,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said. “When children eat fresh, healthy meals, they have the fuel they need for a successful day of learning.”

Canton ES STEM Academy School Nutrition Worker Dixie Byers washes Georgia apples for students to enjoy.

The Platinum level is the highest recognition awarded to Georgia school nutrition programs for farm-to-school programs… from serving locally grown food in cafeterias to teaching students science through school gardens to demonstrating how to cook healthy meals.  Cherokee County is one of only 10 school districts in the state to win this honor, and it is only CCSD’s second year in the competition, winning Gold last year.

CCSD School Nutrition Director Tina Farmer and Coordinator Amanda Fleming accepted the award with School Board Chair Kyla Cromer and Chief Financial Officer Ken Owen at a ceremony Monday in Atlanta.

Districts were evaluated on their work in 10 different activity areas.  CCSD was praised for its many accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year including:

• Over 4.8 million meals served featured at least one locally produced item.

• Teachers use farm field trips, farm-based video lessons, planting in school gardens, and cooking activities to provide integrated agricultural education within the established curriculum throughout the school year.

• The School Nutrition department partners with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau to foster an engaged farm-to-school community with support from a broad range of community members including parents, teachers, administrators, farmers, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, the Upper Etowah River Alliance, local churches and faith-based organizations, the Boy Scouts of America, and more.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal also praised the Golden Radish Award winners for their commitment to children’s health.

“The vitamins, minerals and health benefits from local fresh fruit and vegetables, not only allow our children to be physically healthy, but research has shown that healthy eating is also key to brain development,” said Commissioner O’Neal. “Here in Georgia, we are leading the nation in identifying ways to increase early brain development, and healthy nutrition is an enormous part of that.”

Canton ES STEM Academy School Nutrition Worker Barbara Sams washes Georgia-grown tomatoes and cucumbers to prepare garden salads for the day’s menu.

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