Every year, the Arizona Department of Education's Health and Nutrition Services Division offers the Farm Fresh Challenge to Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators throughout the state. According to the ADE Farm Fresh Challenge website, this challenge is "designed to empower CNP operators to cultivate excitement around fresh and locally sourced foods. Participating operators must complete a series of challenges that promote participants' tasting, teaching, and connection to foods local to Arizona."
There are three components to the challenge - inclusion of locally-sourced components of meals, educational activities, and promotional materials - and the Osborn Child Nutrition department shredded their way through all of them!
Director Cory Alexander and Program Coordinator Kayla Anderson worked closely with the Osborn Middle School cafeteria staff and Encanto PE Teacher (and Master Gardener) Mark Deyette to accomplish their goals of educating the community about locally-sourced foods and incorporating those foods into meals.
Not only did they reach all of the expectations set by the state, but they pushed above and beyond to the brand new Platinum tier! This required them to serve two "hard to reach" local items (whole grain or meat/meat alternate) and incorporate at least one local item through the USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
The ingredients that they incorporated into their meals can be seen here:
We are proud to share that Osborn's Child Nutrition Program has earned this incredible honor, and we are even more proud to know that our students benefit from the care put into their meals every day!
For more information about the challenge, click here.