Rayne Pegg, from the USDA will visit the Davis Joint Unified School District on March 8 to observe one of the nation’s most-promising public school-lunch models.

District officials are honored to host the visit and showcase Davis’ pairing of commodity foods with local produce as well as community partnerships with Davis Farm to School, the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, Sutter Davis Hospital and the Davis Farmers’ Market. 

Gail Feenstra, academic coordinator for the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) at ASI, said SNS purchased 43 percent of  produce locally in fall 2009. SNS defines local as within 300 miles of Davis, encompassing the growing Sacramento Valley region that includes Davis. As of last year, the SNS serves only organically grown rice from the Sacramento Valley. Davis’ K-12 seasonal salad bars feature locally grown fruits – including blood oranges, kiwi and strawberries when in season – and vegetables to create a wide range of salad and menu items. SNS makes soup from scratch every Thursday, incorporating seasonal vegetables, including beef barley, turkey, winter vegetable chowder, and Mandarin coconut soups served with locally made whole-wheat rolls.