The cafeteria at Glassboro’s Dorothy L. Bullock School features produce grown in the school garden. Children have the opportunity to make salsa with ingredients grown in the garden, and the school has an apple-tasting contest featuring local apples. Those are the types of initiatives that helped the school, which serves children in first through third grades, win the “Best in New Jersey Farm-to-School” award from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture this year. The award was presented at the Glassboro Board of Education meeting on Sept. 28.

“We applaud Bullock School and the Glassboro School District not only for all the effort put into their Farm-to-School program, but the enthusiasm with which they have approached it,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “From their enormous and diverse school garden to joining with school food service and the community, Bullock School exemplifies the spirit of this award. We also want to congratulate teacher Sonya Harris who spearheaded the program.”

“The Dorothy L. Bullock School Children’s Garden encourages community collaboration and presents students with opportunities to cultivate seeds, cook nutritious foods, and compost plants. The school’s Jersey Fresh Farm-to-School participation has inspired our district to plan future gardens at each of our schools,” said Dr. Mark J. Silverstein, district superintendent. “We thank the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for honoring Bullock with the Best in New Jersey Farm-to-School Award, and we thank the many people and organizations who made our garden possible.”

The state agriculture department also announced 14 schools from around the state that entered the Farm-to-School Recognition Program for the current school year. They were required to show evidence of working with farmers and the community to ensure students have access to healthy Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables in their school cafeterias and teaching about agriculture through growing school gardens. Other requirements included: Utilizing produce from their school gardens, offering a salad bar, connecting farm-to-school activities to curriculum and involving the community.

The Farm-to-School Recognition Program schools are: Cape May City Elementary School, Cape May; Anthony V. Ceres Elementary School, Perth Amboy; Dorothy L. Bullock School, Glassboro; Faber Elementary School, Dunellen; Glen Meadow Middle School and Rolling Hills Primary School, Vernon; Hedgepeth/Williams Middle School and Robeson Elementary School, Trenton; Hopewell Elementary School, Hopewell, (Mercer County); Reading-Fleming Intermediate School, Flemington; Timber Creek Regional High School, Blackwood; Upper Township Middle School, Petersburg; Weymouth Township School, Dorothy; and Windsor Preparatory School, Paramus.

Farm-to-School programs provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities to help students learn about local agriculture, how food grows and what it means to eat healthfully with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information, go to www.farmtoschool.nj.gov.

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