Portland Public Schools (PPS) created the Harvest of the Month (HOM) program to highlight locally grown fruits and vegetables in their school lunch menus. The program delivers Oregon grown fruits and vegetables to all 85 Portland Public Schools (serving more than 20,000 lunches each day) at least twice per month. The program has been enormously popular and has resulted in more kids eating more Oregon grown foods!
Portland Public Schools already purchases many locally grown and processed foods. The Harvest of the Month program allows them to highlight a locally grown fruit or vegetable on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month during the school year. This year the line-up includes tasty local produce such as lemon cucumbers, sweet corn on the cob, Oregon berries, and asparagus.
Benefits of Harvest of the Month. Support this program.Learn more about PPS Nutrition Services and Harvest Of the Month.
Harvest of the Month Menu Dates 2012-13
The benefits of Harvest of the Month include:
- Harvest of the Month promotes the long-term health of children by making changes to the school food environment that encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Encourages greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and caner in our community.
- Supports Oregon’s agricultural economy by increasing direct purchases from local farmers and food producers.
- Helps children to understand that food comes from farms and farmers.
- Promotes shorter travel times from farm to table, which can help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
- Talk about upcoming Harvest of the Month foods at home if you have a child in school, look for fun facts about each Harvest of the month in the menu calendar that is distributed to each child at the start of the year.
- Serve Harvest of the Month items at home – watch for special promotions of Harvest of the Month fruits and vegetables in stores and get your children involved in shopping, selecting a recipe, and preparing the foods at home.
- Buy lunch on Harvest of the Month days. If your children are not regular school lunch participants, buying lunch on the Harvest of the Month day sends a message that you support Portland Public Schools efforts to purchase local foods directly from farmers for school meals.
- Grow Harvest of the Month foods in your home garden and eat them! Use them as a way to teach children about nutrition, health, and the environment.
Learn more about Farm to School nationally.