The Holdingford school district is hoping to expand its ability to incorporate food grown on Minnesota farms into student meals with new Farm to School grant funding.
The district currently serves locally grown corn and cabbage, according to Minnesota Department of Agriculture spokesperson Michael Crusan.
To begin serving more types of food, the district needed some kitchen upgrades. So they plan to purchase kitchen supplies and light processing equipment through a combination of their own money and grant funds from the MDA and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson joined Minnesota Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Jessie Montano, Blue Cross Blue Shield representative Kristi Probst, Holdingford school staff and local farmers at an award program Friday at the school. They toured the kitchen and school garden.
Holdingford was one of 15 districts in the state to receive 2014 Farm to School grant funds.
Crusan said with almost $4,000 the district will purchase sheet pans, knives, serving trays and storage equipment, among other items, to increase its capability to serve locally grown food.
Holdingford serves about 575 breakfasts and about 835 lunches each day, he said.
"They are hoping to increase the frequency of food purchased through Minnesota growers by 50 percent," Crusan said.
Grants were created with legislation that established the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program.