Dover-Eyota students enjoy farm-to-school lunches |

Dover-Eyota students enjoy farm-to-school lunches

Talia Milavetz
Created: March 05, 2020 10:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- You’ve heard of farm-to-table movements at local restaurants, but you might not know that a local school has been adopting the same principle for more than a decade. 

On Thursday, the Dover-Eyota Public School District served up hotdogs and hamburgers with a total revamp.

"We produce the beef, we buy our feed from local places, it was butchered at the local butcher shop, the buns come from a local bakery,” said Jessica Desens,a farmer with Goldnrust Farms.

Her hot dogs and burgers are served on the first Thursday of every month, for Minnesota Thursdays. It is a day for schools statewide to highlight local food producers.

"One of the benefits for the students is they get to know where their food comes from,” she said.

That is sinking in for these second graders. 

"I think it's pretty fun because you get to taste it and you get to realize wow this is local,” said Lily Rose. 

"You also get to realize this is nice food because someone made it for us,” said Riley Johnson. 

For well over a decade, the district has focused on a farm-to-school initiative, bringing local produce to students several times a week. Its included melons, cucumbers, peppers and onions, among other foods. 

Elementary School Chef Cindy Gray said it helps the students look forward to eating their fruits and vegetables. 

"The kids were very excited when they saw watermelon. Corn on the cob is a very big deal to them,” she said. 

Food and Nutrition Director Carrie Frank said its a win-win for the farmers and the schools. 

"What I want in my apples is I want a small enough apple that fits in an elementary students hand so they learn how to eat a whole apple. Those apples aren't appealing to the general public,” she said.

And Desens hopes it’s something more schools pick up on soon. 

"I would love to see a dream that someday all of Minnesota has half of their lunches from local food sources. It all starts one farmer and one school at a time,” she said. 

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