Thousands to dine on Pride of Dakota school lunches

A student picks up their Pride of Dakota school lunch.

BISMARCK – More than 43,500 students from 211 North Dakota schools will dine on food products from their own state on Thursday, Sept. 28, during the 16th Annual Pride of Dakota School Lunch Day.

Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Tom Bodine will dine with students at Jeanette Myhre Elementary School in Bismarck on Thursday, and discuss with them the importance of agriculture to North Dakota in their own lives.

“Highlighting North Dakota food products grown by our farmers and ranchers and processed by local businesses helps students learn how their food is raised and produced,” Bodine said. “School lunch programs can also help local economies and the state’s economy by buying these locally produced and processed foods. A wide range of North Dakota food products are now available for school lunch programs in addition to the high quality raw commodities produced in the state.”

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) has provided posters and other promotional materials to participating schools, as well as sample menus prepared by the Department of Public Instruction.

The Pride of Dakota program fosters the development and growth of small businesses across the state. Many members create value-added ag products using North Dakota 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 take part in educational opportunities. More than 500 companies are Pride of Dakota members. Authorized by the Legislature, the program is administered by NDDA.