Walking into the cafeteria at Kellam High School, a giant sign lets you know about the special lunch offering today: the salad bar. However, it was not just any salad bar.
Oct.5-9 is Farm-to-School Week, an annual program coordinated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
In order to celebrate, the Virginia Beach Office of Food Services hosted salad bars at Kellam High, North Landing Elementary and Glenwood Elementary with produce all brought in from Virginia farms. The week, which was usually held in November, was moved to October. This allowed for the schools to have more local produce options.
“Students like to try different things,” said Diana Shockley, operations supervisor the division. “We like to bring different things in for students to try.”
This week, the salad bars were packed with lots of local and fresh produce, including peas, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms and tomatoes.
It was enough to draw the attention of Kellam sophomore Heather Granger.
“I usually get a salad, but I thought it would be interesting to try the salad bar,” Granger said. “I think it’s good to support the local farmers.”
The salad bars will continue throughout the week, and will remain at the elementary schools twice a week for the rest of the season. Shockley said while all schools serve Virginia produce, she is hopeful the salad bar concept will take off for more schools down the line.
For more information about the Farm-to-School week, visit the VDACS website.