You have permission to edit this article.

‘Farm to School’ Week brings local meat and produce to school cafeterias

  • Updated
  • 0

Chicken drumsticks from Whiffletree Farm were served to high school students.

From Oct. 4 to 8, Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health partnered with the Fauquier County Public Schools nutrition program to host Farm to School Week, where children across the county had an opportunity to experience local meat and produce as part of a school meal. A press release from FRESH program supervisor Kristen Mcauliffe explained that FRESH is a FCPS program with a mission to maximize opportunities for students to engage in active learning, active living and nutritional education.

Thornton River Orchard in Sperryville delivered 14,000 Empire, Golden Delicious and Cameo apples to all 20 FCPS cafeterias – enough for every child to have at least one.

Whiffletree Farm of Warrenton delivered chicken drumsticks to Kettle Run, Fauquier and Liberty high schools. Fauquier High graduate and Whiffletree Farm owner Jesse Straight visited FHS the day his chicken was served, to talk with teens about the farm to table process. Straight said in the press release, “It was a pleasure seeing our pasture-raised chicken drumsticks prepared so well and served to FHS students, my alma mater! Just raised about 5 miles from the school, you can't get much more local! Fauquier providing the best for Fauquier!”

Jesse Straignt

Jesse Straight, Fauquier High grad and owner of Whiffletree Farm, talks with students about the farm to school process.

Also in the release, FRESH chef Natalie Ortiz noted the importance of collaboration: “Ordering, receiving and preparing locally sourced food is extra work for our cafeteria managers and staff. We are thankful to have a strong partnership with the school nutrition program, who worked hard to make this process successful. The students definitely noticed how delicious these products were.”

Ortiz added, “Many students in Fauquier County have farmers as neighbors, drive by farms on the way to school, or have family members who work on the farms. Yet logistical issues often prevent school cafeterias from purchasing locally. We hope to overcome these challenges and further the partnerships between local farmers and school cafeterias.”

Director of School Nutrition SueAnn Fox said, “Our partnership with FRESH has helped us build relationships with our local farmers and overcome many of the things that have been barriers in the past … thank you to FRESH, Natalie Ortiz, Amanda Tackie and Jesse Straight, Thornton River Orchards, and a special thank you to our school nutrition teams for making this a healthy, fun meal for our Fauquier students … We hope this year’s events further our goal to advance freshly prepared, locally grown food and food literacy.”

FRESH has established partnerships with a number of other local vendors, including Powers Farm, Abundant Acres Farm, and 4P foods (a food hub located in Fauquier County that aggregates produce from across Virginia and delivers it to local kitchens). These relationships ensure that Fauquier County students are benefitting from fresh, local produce as often as possible, increasing the nutritional impact of their school meals, said Mcauliffe.

Ortiz said, “FRESH strives to inspire healthy habits for life and increase food literacy by making students feel more of a connection to the food they eat each day. ‘Farm to School’ week was a wonderful opportunity to make that happen.”

2020 was a year marked by hardships and challenges, but the Fauquier community has proven resilient. The Fauquier Times is honored to serve as your community companion. To say thank you for your continued support, we’d like to offer all our subscribers -- new or returning --


We understand the importance of working to keep our community strong and connected. As we move forward together into 2021, it will take commitment, communication, creativity, and a strong connection with those who are most affected by the stories we cover.

We are dedicated to providing the reliable, local journalism you have come to expect. We are committed to serving you with renewed energy and growing resources. Let the Fauquier Times be your community companion throughout 2021, and for many years to come.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

The future of Fauquier Times now depends on community support. Your donation will help us continue to improve our journalism through in-depth local news coverage and expanded reader engagement.

Keeping you connected to the Community. Find or Submit your local event here..