School lunches feature North Dakota products, locally grown foods

BISMARCK – North Dakota food products will be featured on school lunch menus in more than 140 school lunchrooms around the state on Wednesday, Oct. 2, the 12th annual Pride of Dakota School Lunch Day.

“More than 35,000 young people will be enjoying food from their own state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who will share the meal with students at St. Anne Catholic School in Bismarck. “This is going on all across North Dakota – 72 school districts with 143 schools are participating.”

Goehring said the theme for the 2013 Pride of Dakota School Lunch Day is “Where Does Your Food Come From?”

“We want young people to understand their food comes from farms and ranches, we want them to learn how to make good food choices,” he said. “We also want to show school administrators and school lunch directors that North Dakota companies and farmers can supply many of their menu needs. Finally, we want North Dakota companies to see school lunch programs can be an important market for their products.”

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture supplied participating schools with posters and with sample menus developed by Deb Egeland, a child nutrition specialist with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Authorized by the Legislature and administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the Pride of Dakota program fosters the development and growth of small businesses and especially businesses that are farm-based or rely on agricultural commodities. Pride of Dakota member companies can participate in cooperative promotion and marketing events; receive representation at local, state, regional, national, and international trade shows and educational opportunities. More than 500 companies are Pride of Dakota members.