City schools get into gardening to give kids healthy choices

NORWICH – Amidst growing concern of what kids are getting in school lunches nationwide, the Norwich City School District is taking new steps to ensure its students are eating healthier and educating them about agriculture and the process of getting food from the farm to the table.

The school district is pursuing a plan add gardens of fresh fruits and vegetables at all four schools in the city school district.

The goal is to have a garden in the courtyards of the middle school, high school and Perry Browne Elementary, and have designated space for a fenced-in garden at Gibson Primary, explained School Food Service Director Sue Ryan.

The idea behind the garden project is to encourage healthier eating habits and incorporate more fresh foods in school lunches while teaching students where their food comes from.

“School lunch now has become a joke,” Ryan said, noting state and federal school lunch standards that are below par in terms of nutrition and healthy eating habits. “Incorporating the concept of farm to table is important. It’s something they can carry with them through adulthood ... We don’t want kids to be so far removed from knowing where their food comes from.”

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