ACE cafeteria manager Olga Ortiz, left, and Eri Stanley, School Nutrition Accounting Clerk, try their hand at making cider, as William Grizzle supervises.
October is National Farm to School Month! CCSD School Nutrition staff toured a local farm on October 14 during the district's professional development day, learning more about how local produce is grown as well as engaging in some fun fall educational activities-- such as pressing apple cider and grinding dried corn. The staff spent a few hours at Buckeye Creek Farm in southeast Cherokee County, where representatives of Cherokee Farm Bureau and the UGA Extension Office assisted in educational tours and activities with the group, along with a beekeeper from Ross Berry Farm. CCSD's School Nutrition department has won multiple awards for its relationships with local farms and use of local produce in school lunches.
Nelson Astudillo with Buckeye Creek Farm gives instruction to Cindy Mullinax, School Nutrition Facilitator for Accounting, on grinding dried corn, which can be used for cornmeal.
William Grizzle with the Cherokee Farm Bureau, oversees the operation of the cider press as School Nutrition Director Tina Farmer, left, hand-cranks the press while Kathy Williams, right, feeds apples into it.
Last year CCSD Cafeterias served 1.1 million breakfasts, 3.7 million lunches and 121,486 afterschool snacks, as well as providing 15,778 breakfasts and 24,094 lunches during the summer of 2019. CCSD School cafeterias have an average health inspection score of 99, All School Nutrition Café Managers and Assistant Managers are ServSafe Certified (food safety certification), and they undergo training bi-annually in basic first aid and CPR.