Before becoming the farm to school coordinator for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Misty Friedman was a school nutrition director. There, she saw the need to bring school nutrition directors in direct contact with local vendors to supply a reliable Georgia-grown meal to students.
Thus, the Farm to Table Source Show was born three years ago. Now, Friedman works closely with Georgia farmers and vendors to provide them the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Georgia school nutrition directors.
Friedman says that the source show allows the directors and vendors to ask each other questions and set up meetings and visits. “We even have some directors purchase directly from the farmers right there at the show,” she says.
This year, the event is projected to exceed all previous years’ shows. “We’ve actually sold out of our vendor space. We have literally everything from apples to Georgia oranges,” says Friedman. There are 50 registered vendors for the show. Nutrition directors range from public and private school nutrition directors, representatives from the Department of Juvenile Justice dietician staff, and even a few youth camps.
“I saw this as a way to bring the sellers and the people that are making the decisions on what to buy together — to step back, and give them a chance to talk to one another,” says Friedman.
The source show ties into the Georgia agricultural commissioner’s 2020 Vision Plan for School Nutrition. The goal of the plan is to have at least 20 percent of every meal in every Georgia public school comprised of Georgia products by the start of the 2020 school year.
Visit http://www.foodwellalliance.org/events/farm-to-table-source-show for event information. The event will be held on February 23.
Hear about the event, from Friedman:
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