LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — This week is Farm to School Week in Virginia. It’s meant to build connections between local farmers and schools to increase the amount of locally-grown food served in schools.
Lynchburg City Schools is highlighting their new partnership with Homestead Creamery to provide milk in two elementary schools.
The milk is now coming out of bulk dispensers instead of individual cartons. That has the benefit of reducing waste while getting kids to drink more milk.
Students got the hang of it pretty quickly, as second grader Raynee Cole explained.
“You put the glass under the hole it has, and then you push the metal thing up, and then the milk comes out.”
The goal is to get students to drink more milk.
“That is the ultimate objective of this,” said Beth Morris, the Director of Nutrition for Lynchburg City Schools. “The milk is colder as the equipment that we hold it in does create a more appealing product for our students.”
Students like Raynee have noticed.
“I’d say it’s better,” said the seven-year-old, who also said she prefers chocolate milk.
Whether it’s chocolate or plain milk, the calcium level is the same and equally beneficial.
Officials say the partnership with Homestead Creamery is unique.
“I know of two other schools in the state that are also using the bulk milk dispensers,” said Morris, “but I do believe, I don’t want to be quoted as saying I’m 100% sure, but I do believe that Lynchburg is the first to partner with a local dairy to provide the bulk milk.”
It’s a partnership that has an impact outside of the cafeteria.
“It’s so good for us, so good for the children,” said Bettina Ring, the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, “and it really helps out our dairy farmers when they can provide their milk to the local school system.”
Currently, Homestead Creamery milk is in Perrymont and Bedford Hills Elementary Schools.