Karen Phillips says the food served today isn’t the same as it was when she started 22 years ago.
“I take pride in my job, in what I do, and I like to make it look nice,” Phillips says.
Schools across Northern Michigan are celebrating food education this month in an interesting way. It’s all for something called National Farm to School Month.
Now what’s on the menu at Eastern Elementary in Traverse City? A fresh salad bar.
“Packaged foods are easy sometimes to grab and go, but really, we all know that health wise fresh fruits and vegetables right off the farm are the best things we can do for ourselves,” says Eastern Elementary Principal Biz Ruskowski.
Everything from apples, to kale and even hot dogs were made right here in Northern Michigan at local farms.
“It’s nice to know that apples came just from the farm that I pass onto work every single day,” says Sheila Venhuizen, food and nutrition services staff member.
It’s something Principal Ruskowksi says is teaching these young kids about healthy food and community appreciation.
Landon, a first grader at Eastern Elementary, says, “I know fruits and vegetables are healthy and if you eat them then you get stronger and you get more energy too.”
To celebrate the movement, school gardens and lunch trays will be filled with healthy, local ingredients.
Head to and join thousands of schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations across the country as they celebrate food education.