students cooking and eating

October 17, 2022 - Greensboro Elementary School hosted this year’s Homegrown School Lunch Week, a statewide initiative that showcases local farms and produce, along with dishes prepared by culinary school students at Caroline Career and Technology. 

Guests and students tasted samples of everything from farm to tray pork to fresh apple cider, all made locally. Those attending the event included Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder; Dr. Patty Bennett, USDA MARO Regional Administrator; Delegate Johnny Mautz; County Commissioner Larry Porter and Commissioners-Elect Frank Bartz and Travis Breeding;  Board of Education Members Donna DiGiacomo, Mark Jones and Michele Wayman; Superintendent Derek Simmons and Assistant Superintendent Tara Downes, and local community members. Guests and students enjoyed a farm-to-table lunch prepared by the Greensboro Elementary School Food Services team, which included local hotdogs and Wild Caught Chesapeake Blue Catfish Cakes.

Secretary Bartenfelder gave remarks and presented proclamations to Supervisor of Food Services Beth Brewster and GES Principal Dawn Swann. Also speaking at the event were Dr Bennett from USDA, Ms. Brewster, Ms. Swann and Caroline County Career Technology Center CASE teacher Jodi Callahan.

In his remarks, Dr. Simmons said, “Caroline County Public Schools and our Food Services staff understands the value of serving homegrown, fresh food that supports the health of our students and also supports our farming community. Caroline students and staff are privileged to benefit from our rich agricultural history and the thriving industry that exists today.”

Dr. Simmons also shared the following facts:

  • Approximately 3,800 lunches are served daily in our schools.
  • Approximately 30% of the food served is purchased locally.
  • 16 local farmers provide homegrown, fresh food to our cafeterias. 
  • Local hydroponic farmers are our main suppliers of lettuce.
  • We purchase 30 bushels of apples a month from Blades Orchard. We also purchase their homemade apple cider donuts for breakfast in the classroom
  • In the summer, food services staff process  10-15,000 pounds of local produce, some for summer programs lunches and the rest to freeze for school lunch throughout the year.
  • Caroline Career and Technology Center’s Agriculture classes raise pigs that are then sold to Caroline Schools to be used for meat in school lunches.

Several guests also spent time in classrooms, reading stories to students about farming. Secretary Bartenfelder brought several copies of “Cows Can Moo! Can You?” as a gift to the school.

All event photos are available on the Caroline County Public Schools Flickr page.