Frankfort-Elberta Area Public Schools Food Service Director Jenna Noffsinger has taken the rainbow carrots to a new level.
A local cooperative of 12 growers in four area counties has joined together to create an online ordering system for their products and to process fresh vegetables largely for school markets. They provided Noffsinger with yellow and purple carrot snack sticks—the school colors of Frankfort’s Panther mascot—which she roasts and calls “Panther Fries.” They are a hit with students.
“There is always a learning curve every new school year as it seems kids’ likes and dislikes change from year to year,” she said. “With the continuation of the funding*, it will help continue the process of adding more and more variety to the items we serve. And the kids will learn more as well, and will be open to keep on trying new things.”
“With the continuation of the funding it will help continue the process of adding more and more variety to the items we serve.” - Jenna Noffsinger, Frankfort-Elberta Area Public Schools Food Service Director
Noffsinger said the 10 Cents funds* provide food service directors with stable financing to grow their farm to school programs. If they have to make hard budget cuts because of things unrelated to food costs—like lost revenues due to snow days when food service still has costs like labor and overhead—they won’t make cuts in their local food spending because they want to maximize the 10 Cents grant.
*Michigan’s 10 Cents A Meal for School Kids & Farms is a successful state pilot that provides schools with up to 10 cents a meal in match funding to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Originally a $250,000 state pilot in prosperity regions 2 and 4, lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder expanded 10 Cents A Meal for the 2017-2018 school year to also include prosperity region 9 with an increased budget of $375,000. The is one in a series of stories documenting 10 Cents A Meal for School Kids & Farms.