EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Students at Dover-Eyota Elementary School celebrated National Farm to School Month on Thursday by eating some locally grown apples.
Oct. 8 is dedicated to The Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. Students and residents from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota are crunching into apples grown locally.
It's to highlight and celebrate the impact locally-sourced food has on early childhood development and education. The apples the kids ate at the elementary school were actually from the school's own orchard. There are 15 trees that bear different varieties of apples and pears. The students are responsible for care and harvesting them
"The farm to school process is important, not only for our local economy, but it's also a healthier, fresher taste for our students," Dover-Eyota Schools Food and Nutrition Director Carrie Frank said. "They're more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Last Thursday, we celebrated 'Minnesota Thursday,' which is an initiative for schools to showcase local foods. And on that day, we had our produce from a farmer here in Eyota."
Frank said they regularly have meat from local farmers, too. Many of them have generations of roots right in the area.
A collective "crunch" could be heard around the cafeteria as kindergarteners bit into their apples.
"Make sure you tell your parents about all the good parts of the apple, including the skin," Frank said.
She said Dover-Eyota Schools believes everything they do is educational. She said food service isn't just about getting kids fed.
"It's about teaching them to eat nutritionally," Frank said. "You can taste the difference."
Last October, more than 1,815,000 students, children, teachers and food supporters across the region crunched on an apple.
This year, the goal is to get 2 million people crunching on apples. "Crunchers" are encouraged to share their pictures online.