Our RI Farm to School team has been back at it again — exploring the local food system and trying new foods with Rhode Island students. This week, we visited Mt. Pleasant High School! We’ve had great fun with the students at Mt. Pleasant in the past, when we visited for a school-wide cafeteria taste test. This time, we worked with a class of Teacher Academy students, who were eager to soak in all the information and activities we had to offer so they could then share what they learned with the rest of the student body.
We asked the students to explore where their food comes from and why local food is important, and to identify the sources of the ingredients in their favorite meal.
This lesson helped them think more deeply about the food system and all the steps through which food has to go in order to reach their plates. Most were surprised to learn that local food was already regularly part of their school cafeteria’s meals!
To culminate our lesson on the story of food, we held a local food tasting in the Mt. Pleasant cafeteria. Chef Philip McKendall, from Sodexo Providence, had noticed the popularity of sriracha in the school, and paired it with January’s Harvest of the Month — potatoes. And so “fiyah roasted potatoes” were born!
Students in the Graphic Arts class got involved too, making posters to hang around the school announcing the local food tasting!
The feedback was tremendous. The students loved the local potatoes sourced from Quonset View Farm in Portsmouth, RI, and asked for seconds. Many of them asked to see the fiyah potatoes on the menu permanently. It was a great success!
After we finished working with our Teacher Academy students, they were well equipped to share the lesson with the rest of the school — and they did!
Thank you to Donna from Sodexo for sharing the kitchen space with us and helping us offer this fun tasting! And big thanks to Dawn from Mt. Pleasant for facilitating our lesson with the Teacher Academy class.