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A Thank You from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Farm2school thankyou


On January 26, 2017, York Suburban Middle School hosted an award event to honor Farm-to-School grant receivers including Whitsons’ Food Service Director, Helen Heidler. York Suburban School District was among 30 awardees receiving grants of up to $1,000 to implement farm-to-school activities, such as student samplings of local produce, farm school trips, school garden activities and efforts to incorporate local produce in school meals. The funding is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Division of Food and Nutrition.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) visited York Suburban Middle School to announce the Farm-to-School grant winners. During the event, attendees and students sampled produce from several local farms in Pennsylvania, including Flinchbaugh’s Orchard, Millers Plant Farm, and Brogue Hydroponics.  “I am super excited to have received this farm-to-school grant. It will give our students a chance to sample locally grown produce prepared by our District Chef, Sean Arnold, with farm and nutritional information to go along with each event. Fresh is best,” said Heidler.

Whitsons Culinary Group, a leading foodservice management company that serves school districts throughout the northeast, strongly supports the Farm-to-School movement and has implemented programs in several school districts which incorporate local produce in school lunches. 

“Whitsons has been working with the York Suburban school district for 5 years now, and we are very proud of the amount of local produce used. Helen and her team work diligently each year to add additional fresh and local products. Partnering with local farms like Flinchbaugh's Orchards has been a real pleasure,” said Craig Whitcomb, Regional Vice President for Whitsons Culinary Group.

Whitsons has since received a thank you letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Agricultures’ Secretary, Russell C. Redding, for the event at York Suburban Middle School stating “I am a true believer in the value if Farm to School programs and all that they have to offer. Be it through educating students about where their food comes from, helping future agriculturalists gain skills that are critical to a future in the agriculture industry, providing low-income students and neighbors with access to nutritious food resources, or connecting schools and students with food grown in their local communities, Farm to School programs are valuable resources that are enriching our students, our schools, and our communities.” 

As always, Whitsons is focused on providing fresh wholesome ingredients to students and supporting local farms. To learn more about Whitsons Culinary Group, local farms we support and our corporate initiatives, visit us on the web at www.whitsons.com.

See video of the event here.