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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CCSD School Nutrition Wins Georgia’s Golden Radish Award!

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From left to right Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls

The Cherokee County School District has won a top State award for its outstanding school nutrition program!

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

The Gold Level is the highest recognition awarded to Georgia school nutrition programs for farm-to-school programs… from local food procurement to hosting taste-tests to gardening with students.  Districts were evaluated on their work in 10 different activity areas.

CCSD School Nutrition Supervisor Tina Farmer and Coordinators Amanda Fleming and Linda Dittrich accepted the award at a ceremony Monday at the Georgia State Capitol.

CCSD was recognized for its accomplishments during the 2015-2016 school year including:

  • More than 400 hands-on cooking and food activities held by CCSD, with many lessons led by volunteer chefs and farmers. Events included Chef Tony Pisconeri visiting classrooms to demonstrate proper knife skills and plating techniques and high school agriculture students learning about honey with Jeannie Ross of Ross Berry Farm and Apiaries;
  • More than 1,000 promotions held by CCSD to encourage students to choose local foods in the school cafeteria and participate in school garden activities and farm field trips; and,
  • Cherokee County’s Farm to School Committee collaboration by parents, teachers, school administrative staff, the Cherokee County Farm Bureau and local farmers, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners, FFA, churches, the Upper Etowah River Alliance, Girls Scouts and other groups. Local businesses also offered discounts for individuals purchasing supplies for CCSD’s school gardens;

“Having access to fresh, farm-to-school meals is great for Georgia’s students,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Farm-to-school programs also connect students with agriculture, which is an enormously important industry for our state.  We appreciate the Golden Radish Award because it recognizes those school districts that are striving every day to provide more farm to school meals.”