PHILIPPI, W.Va. (WBOY) — Barbour County Schools celebrated Farm to School Month on Wednesday by hosting a pop-up farmers market at Philippi Elementary School and a lunch celebration at Philip Barbour High School (PBHS).
During the lunch celebration at PBHS, students and guests got to indulge in a meal predominantly produced by West Virginia Farms. The meal included a hamburger, fresh produce and fresh fruit.
“Kids that are hungry cannot learn. They are not prepared to learn. So, we’re trying to do what we can in the child nutrition program to make sure kids are offered a great breakfast and also a quality lunch, so that they have the nutrition needs to make sure they’re ready physically and mentally to learn every day,” Child Nutrition Director Chris Derico said.
Cindy Long, Administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, also attended both events to help with the celebration.
“I just love it. You know, because my, my role back in Washington. I spend a lot of time working on budgets and regulations and legislation, and it’s great to be here and see how that work really does support kids getting healthy, nutritious meals that get them off to a great start,” Long said.
Not only did Wednesday’s celebration help children receive a healthy lunch, but by eating locally grown foods Barbour County Schools helped support West Virginia’s economy.
“Anytime you buy something from a local West Virginia Farmer, those dollars are staying in West Virginia and they’re turning in West Virginia. There are many studies that say every dollar spent in West Virginia turns four of five times, some even say up to 10 times. So, if we’re eating locally, we’re improving the economy of West Virginia,” West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt said.
School officials said that they’re happy with the feedback from Wednesday’s celebration and hope to include more locally grown foods moving forward.