BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools hope to renew funding to continue two popular lunch programs. Terry Cashman, Director of Child Nutrition for the district says a grant is set to expire this year, which pays for the two-year-old programs. One, he calls Pork to Fork: "We had the kids from Mt. View who were actually raising pigs for the program. Then, once the pigs were ready to be – I guess you would call it ‘harvested’ – we’d have the kids at both Bend High culinary and Mt. View culinary butcher them for us; then we would utilize the products in our program."
Another new program. called Boat to School, provides Oregon seafood for Bend-La Pine student lunches. "We actually had sushi grade tuna we’re providing the kids through this grant, it’s just a phenomenal product and a really tasty treat, once you get to try these things. If you think about where we are in Bend, we have a pretty amazing food culture. So, kids are exposed to a wide variety of foods that they may not be in some other areas."
Both are off-shoots of the district’s successful “Farm to School” program, which has provided local fruits and vegetables for lunches for 12 years. "You want to expose kids to as many different choices so, as their pallet develops, then they’re going to be more accepting of different foods. We found that the kids, obviously at first, aren’t super excited about some of these items. But, when they sample them out and they try them, you can convert several of them. And the adults obviously love these kinds of choices," Cashman tells KBND. To hear our full conversation with Terry Cashman, visit our Podcast Page
The district is also looking for lunchroom workers for new schools slated to open in the fall.