Food Tray

By: Flora Wade

School lunch can get a bad reputation, especially if the food is processed and not local. Thankfully Salem has always provided healthy lunches for each school. 

Food Service Director Karen Libka jumped on the offer to bring local produce to the cafeteria when a grant was offered to the schools from the Indiana Department of Health. 

The farmers providing food for Salem Community Schools are all involved in Indiana Grown, an organization that gives food ¨to Hoosiers by Hoosiers¨ and farms  the fresh meats, lettuce and other items given to communities. 

¨We are very excited,¨ said Libka. “The grant will last a year, and our first shipment was on November 1.¨ The elementary school was the first out of the three schools to serve the produce. They had fresh and local ground beef for their cheeseburgers, something many kids might not get outside of school. 

Libka said many more opportunities are to come, although the farms may be small, they have a variety of foods to pick from. 

¨There are many options like baby romaine, a spring mix, sweet potatoes, pork shoulder, and turkey,¨ Libka said. 

Whatever foods are shown as available, the grant money helps schools work hard to get the perfect options for the students, as well as delicious recipes. It's very enlightening to know how much hard work is put into the food.. Each lunch will continue to have the quality students deserve. 

Sophomore Sidney Burton eats the school lunch often. ¨I hope it will be fresher because it is local.¨ 

Sophomore Rafe Wells also eats school lunch each day and said, "It's an amazing idea because the food is already good and it is just an exciting opportunity for us.” 

Students love to know that what they eat comes from hard work around them. Not only do the staff serve the food, but small town Indiana farmers put in their service to provide what kids eat each day.