Farms working with Syracuse School District to provide students with locally grown, healthy food

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s not every day the superintendent is serving students lunch. Thursday in Syracuse, Jaime Alicea had something special for them.

“These are fresh fruit and vegetables that are grown right here in the City of Syracuse,” said Alicea.

The district received nearly $80,000 funding from a 2021 USDA Farm to School grant. One of the local farms in the program is Brady Farm which is less than a mile away from McKinley-Brighton Elementary School.

“This is a pilot project working at McKinley Brighton School to first introduce locally grown foods to the school lunchroom, also working with families to take home boxes of food later in the year, so they can explore that as a family, how to eat fresh vegetables,” said Jessi Lyons who is the Farm Coordinator from Brady Farm.

So what was on the menu for the program’s kickoff?

“We had butternut squash, golden and red beets, potatoes and carrots and they’ve just been lightly roasted,” Lyons said. “The potatoes from from Common Thread farm. The other products come from our farm.”

“Some of the kids in the beginning are like, ‘Oh no I don’t want to try this.’ When they taste it they like it,” Alicea explained. “So again, if they don’t have it in the community, if it’s not readily available, sometimes they’re afraid.”

While they ate their lunch, students learned where their food comes from.

“If we start with the kids and they take home information for their parents, hopefully the parents will be inspired to cook something new for their family,” Lyons said.

Some high school students from the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central will create videos with cooking instructions for the families.

Brady Faith Center, Syracuse University and the Syracuse-Onondaga Food Systems Alliance are also part of the partnership.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area