Students in the Sparta Area School District lined up to have a second helping of Chef Monique Hooker’s roasted Nappa cabbage.
Paired with a lettuce spinach salad, roasted beets and shredded root vegetables, many of the Southside and Lawrence Lawson third graders and high school Family and Consumer Education students identified the leafy vegetable that caramelized in the oven as their favorite sampling prepared by the chef.
Others preferred the beets.
Still some liked the grated carrots, rutabagas, turnips and parsnips.
And many couldn’t decide, eating everything on their plate.
“Exposing students to fruits and vegetables is important as we work to develop best practices for farm to school in Monroe County,” said Cindy Thesing, Nutrition Services Supervisor for the Sparta Area School District.
“Chef Monique has done an excellent job of getting our students excited and educating them about seasonal produce that can keep them healthy this winter and is grown locally,” Thesing said.
Hooker worked with students in the three Monroe County school districts that were recently awarded
the Transform Wisconsin Food Systems Impact Grant. Her visit was the coalition’s first project to begin developing a strong farm to school effort in Tomah, Sparta and Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton schools, strengthening our local food system and increasing the availability of healthy and affordable food for residents of Monroe County.
Monroe County Schools on the Go will follow the chef visits with coalition meetings in the Tomah, Sparta and Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton school districts in November. The public meetings are for parents, farmers and other community members who are interested in working with the coalition and learning more about the initiatives starting as well as building relationships with the three districts.
“We encourage the community to attend and learn more about our coalition,” said Autumn Grooms,
Dates for the Monroe County Schools on the Go meetings are:
Tomah: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Tomah High School auditorium
N-O-W: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, Brookwood
Sparta: 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, Sparta Area School District Administrative and Educational Center