LITCHFIELD — Litchfield Public Schools has joined Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services and Center for Rural Affairs as a 2017 pilot school to roll out Nebraska Thursdays. This statewide campaign celebrates farm to school by serving a Nebraska-sourced meal in the cafeteria on the first Thursday of each month.
The school kicked off its Nebraska Thursdays on October 5, 2017, during National Farm to School month, highlighting the launch of their new pork donation program.
“We received two whole processed hogs as a donation from Todd and Darlene Wardyn, and decided it makes sense to build a pork donation program to work alongside our beef donation program,” said Janice Reynolds, Food Service Director at Litchfield Public Schools. “Beef donation programs have been popular in the state, but we know there are other farms who would like to contribute to schools. We hope our pork donation program creates a model for Nebraska schools.”
In addition to serving roast pork, the school is serving mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, colored peppers, radishes, cucumbers, kohlrabi, onions, and melons from Trotter’s Greenhouse.
“With our pork and beef donation programs, and donated produce from Trotter’s Greenhouse, we offer our students the freshest meals possible throughout the entire year,” said Reynolds. “Greenhouse grown produce is available almost all year, and the donated pork will carry us through several months.”
The school district is one of five pilot schools selected to participate in Nebraska Thursdays. Litchfield Public Schools was an early adopter of farm to school, starting a partnership with Trotter Fertilizer in 2012 who provided a greenhouse where food is grown and donated to the school.
Other pilot schools are Omaha Public Schools, Overton Public Schools, Thayer Central Community Schools, and Wayne Community Schools.
The program is sponsored by Nebraska Department of Education with partner organization Center for Rural Affairs, and supported by Omaha Public Schools Nutrition Services. Additional support is provided by Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, Midwest Dairy Council, and Nebraska Beef Council.