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Mississippi Melons Benefit Students and Farmers

Members of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program in Mississippi are taking advantage of a new farm to school initiative designed to make it easier to get great produce to the lunch line. IT Montgomery Elementary participated in the pilot project sponsored by the Delta Fresh Foods Initiative and purchased local watermelons, vine-ripened for superior flavor.

Delta Farm to School Coordinator Ryan Betz helps the food service directors connect with the farmers in what all agree is a “win-win” for students and the local growers. The farmers provide verification of safe growing and handling practices and then schools use a competitive bid system set up by the Mississippi Department of Education.

“We give them high marks for making sure that Mound Bayou and Coahoma County School District students can enjoy safe, locally grown food that tastes better and spends less time in transit while supporting local agriculture,” said Betz. And the students report that the melon tasted great!