Columbia Public Schools Get Fresh Produce
Some of those produce include strawberries, cantaloupe, green peppers, tomatoes, zuccinni, and more.
"The intention of the program is that the children would be more exposed to more fruits and vegetables. This increases the likelihood that they would sustain this for a life time, eating and consuming fruits and vegetables," said Director of Nutrition Services Laina Fullum.
Until now, the majority of the student fruits and vegetables were frozen or from cans.
"We're trying to slowly integrate different types of foods into the main entree so that it isn't just adding to or sitting next to the food that aren't maybe not as healthy," said Fullum.
School officials say their main goal is to expose children to different types of foods they wouldn't normally try on their own.
"Green pepper is a new thing to me, I do have it in some dinners, but I never eat it plain. I kind of like it, " said fifth grader Jaden Rother.
All the fresh produce comes from local vendors which is more expensive.
The district will take care of the cost with the approved increase of lunch prices by 35 cents.
Fifth grader Chemistry Richardson says the school has helped her eat healthier foods.
"I think once the other kids see that their friends like it, they'll be more influenced to buy more fruits and vegetables, and they can just have a healthier lifestyle," said Richardson.
The healthy options will be available as long as the produce is in season.