WAYNE – Wayne Community Schools joined four other school systems from being a pilot school during Nebraska Thursdays.
For the first Thursday of each month locally-grown or locally-produced foods were served in school cafeterias during a program launched by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE).
Wayne Community Schools along with Litchfield Public Schools, Omaha Public Schools. Overton Public Schools and Thayer Central Community Schools participated in Nebraska Thursdays during the 2017-2018 school year. This event was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant Program.
October is National Farm to School Month and NDE is encouraging Nebraska schools to register for Nebraska Thursdays.
According to a release, registration is open to all Nebraska schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Once registered, a district will have access to Nebraska Thursdays resources, promotional items and an interactive recipe portal.
Nebraska schools serve meals to 232,941 students daily and Nebraska Thursdays benefits the community as well.
Nebraska Thursdays is a program supported by the NDE and the Center for Rural Affairs, and in collaboration with schools statewide. According to the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census, schools with strong farm to school programs report higher school meal participation, reduced food waste, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables.
In addition, in the 2013-2014 school year alone schools purchased more than $789 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and manufacturers.
To register for the program and to learn more visit www.education.ne.gov/nethursdays.