School cafeterias across Marion County will have an especially distinctive Kentucky flavor this Wednesday, November 10.
That’s because Marion County Public School’s School Nutrition Department has organized a Kentucky Proud Day for school lunches that day.
Menus will have locally grown and sourced food including hot off the grill Kentucky Dog hot dogs, local corn on the cob and apples, as well as Taylor Belle’s ice cream -- all of which are official Kentucky Proud products.
While the school district has used Kentucky Proud and other local products in the past, this will be the first day to have a full Kentucky Proud menu, according to MCPS School Nutrition Director Jennifer Wheeler.
Wheeler said schools will also have some special “guest chefs” manning the grills.
She also said that she’s interested in adding more Kentucky Proud products to the school lunch menus throughout the entire school year in part because of issues receiving orders from out-of-state distributors.
“I’m constantly looking for local farmers who can supply us with local foods longer into the fall or earlier in the spring, so that I don’t have to fight just to receive foods from other distributors,” Wheeler said, adding that local producers are free to reach out to her, especially for those who can supply produce.
And while Wednesday is meant to in part celebrate Kentucky food items, Wheeler said she also wants to continue expanding menu items so that students can explore more variety.
“There are things we know our kids don't get at home, so I’m trying to find those things and work it into our budget and work it into our menus, still following our food guidelines, to have things for them that they might not get at home.”