Eating healthy: Petrova hosts ‘Farm to School’ Initiative

SARANAC LAKE – If Thursday’s party at the Petrova School is any indication of how the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative will be received in the near future, area students will be eating a lot healthier with local farms paving the way.

A goal of the newly-formed Adirondack Farm to School Initiative is to provide students with better diets that include more locally raised food. The public was invited to literally get a taste of what school cafeterias in the area should begin to look like at lunch time as the Petrova elementary and middle schools hosted a late afternoon event that featured healthy local food, educational displays, music and even farm animals.

During the two-hour event, parents, teachers, and students ranging from elementary through high school age, as well as other members of the community were able to sample a wide array of food. And with scores of people attending the party, the cafeteria line snaked well out into the hall as visitors waited to give the food a try.

Every state in the nation now has local Farm to School programs that serve more than 12,000 schools across the United States. The Adirondack Farm to School Initiative includes a committee led by Ruth Pino of Paul Smiths. She is a registered dietician, the food service director of the Saranac Lake School District and a menu consultant for the Lake Placid Central School District. The other members of the committee include area farmers, teachers and parents.

Schools in Lake Placid, Keene and the North Country School are also involved in the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative.