Principal Onjaleke Brown found orange peels everywhere in the classroom.
Normally, such as mess would be frustrating, but the fruity remains were evidence that first-graders at N.W. Harllee Early Childhood Center enjoyed tasting the fresh satsuma mandarin oranges trucked in this morning from Sturdivant Farms near the Texas coast.
The “Harvest of the Month” is an ongoing program by Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services (FCNS) that highlights a locally grown produce item. Students get to sample the produce and learn facts about it and, in the case of Harllee, sometimes meet the farmers behind the food. Christopher Sturdivant talked about the harvesting process, which involves each orange being individually and carefully cut from the tree and boxed. He also showed a video that showed what harvesting the oranges looks like.
After tasting the oranges, students received cups of dirt to plant seeds they found in their fruit.
FCNS Executive Director Michael Rosenberger pledged Dallas ISD’s commitment to increase local food purchases. The district is a founding member of the Urban School Food Alliance, which also includes Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami-Dade, Orland, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston school districts. The group is aiming to increase the use of locally grown food by at least 5 percent by the 2021-2022 school year. Collectively, that represents nearly $100 million in local food among the 10 districts.
Learn more about Harvest of the Month here.