Harvest of the Month
Portland Public Schools’ Harvest of the Month program has been a great success with students, staff and families. With exceptional support from community partners such as Ecotrust and the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund at the Northwest Health Foundation Harvest of the Month has introduced farm fresh produce or locally preserved foods to thousands of students in Portland cafeterias since its beginning in February 2006. Nutrition Services continues to make new connections with local farmers and food producers each year.
In the 2014-15 school year, students will taste fresh fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, apples, Brussels sprouts, beets, parsnips, kale, fresh herbs and asparagus. In March, students will enjoy Oregon strawberries, blueberries and marionberries that have been frozen at the peak of ripeness so that they can be enjoyed year round.
Here are some ways that you can share the Harvest of the Month experience:
- Talk about upcoming Harvest of the Month foods at home - look up fun facts about each Harvest of the Month at Fruits and Veggies More Matters.
- Serve Harvest of the Month items at home - watch for special promotions of these seasonal foods in local stores and get your children involved in shopping, selecting a recipe and preparing the foods at home. Kid-tested recipes are available at Oregon State University Extension Service.
- Buy lunch on Harvest of the Month days - If your children are not regular school lunch participants, buying lunch on the Harvest of the Month day sends a message that you support our Farm-to-School efforts to purchase local foods directly from farmers for school meals.
- Including more fruits and vegetables in meals.
- Inspiring children to be adventurous and try new foods.
- Offering moderate portion sizes.
- Being role models for healthy eating at meal times.
- Providing hands-on learning about food in school gardens.
- Helping students learn that food comes from farms and farmers.