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Highlands Food Service Sponsors "Root for Potatoes" Event for PA Preferred Days

11/10/2022

Highlands School District participated in October's PA Preferred Days to support Pennsylvania farmers by coordinating a Root for Potatoes themed event at Highlands Middle School on October 27. Sponsored by Highlands Food Service Department and Director Stacey Waffensmith, the lunch event included a variety of potato dishes using potatoes from Sterman Masser Potato Farm, vegetables from Monteverde's Produce and eggs and dairy products from Turner Dairy. 

PA State Senator Lindsey Williams accepted the district's invitation to attend and support the cause. Many students enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions and interact with Sen. Williams, who supports universal free school meals. 

The event was a great opportunity to celebrate farm-to-school food items. "Students do not always make the connection that the milk products we use come from an actual local farm [Turner Dairy]," said Waffensmith. Turner Dairy representatives Craig Patterson and Amanda Greer were on site to offer samples of cottage cheese, which many students had never tried. 

The Middle School's Food Service staff prepared and served the following meal for the event: Loaded Red Skin or Yukon Smashed Potato Bowl with a choice of toppings - bacon, cheese sauce, green onion, Turner’s sour cream; Whole Grain Roll; Sweet Potato Pie (house made); Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad or Yogurt Parfait from Turner Dairy w/Granola.

Throughout October, the Middle School science teachers also incorporated the topic of root vegetables into their science lessons.

This was the first time in recent years that Highlands participated in the PA Preferred Days. "Overall, the day was a huge success and the students not only learned about root vegetables and local farming but were also able to see and taste the food produced by these farmers and their crops," said Waffensmith. She plans to use this year as a platform to build a stronger PA Preferred event next year.