Harvest Lunch Week contest and local food on school menus

Maine Harvest Lunch Week will be celebrated by school districts across the state this year from Sept. 21-25, with the Maine School Garden Open House taking place on Sept. 26. This year’s theme is “A Fresh Take on School Meals.”

During Harvest Lunch Week, local Maine products will be incorporated into school menus, including produce, milk, grains, and locally raised meats. These high quality, nutritious meals are used to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom, where students learn about the process from seed to plate.

To help promote this great week, the Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition office is holding its second annual Maine Harvest Lunch Week contest to highlight and recognize our farm to school champions in Maine. All entries will be recognized during a short presentation at the Department’s Child Nutrition fall meeting on Oct. 15 at Kennebec Valley Community College in Hinckley.

The Harvest Lunch Week contest will be evaluated based on the following five “MAINE” criteria:

M: menu offerings
A: appearance on the tray
I: involvement of students and community
N: number of local products used
E: environment of the cafeteria

For more details, visit the Local Products to Local Schools website or contact Child Nutrition Services Specialist Stephanie Stambach at stephanie.stambach@maine.gov or 624-6732.