Detroit Public Schools hosts school tour, culinary competition as part of national Farm to Cafeteria conference in Detroit

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-8401

Harvest Michigan, a Detroit Public Schools pilot farm-to-school program, will be put on display this week during Taking Root, the fifth national Farm to Cafeteria conference.

Detroit Public Schools will host two events during the convention, which is being held in Detroit Monday through Wednesday.

10 a.m. Monday

The Cooking up Change National Healthy Cooking Contest will take place at Southeastern High School, 3030 Fairview St.

The contest challenges teams of high school and college students to create a healthful and delicious school meal that meets nutrition standards based on the Institute of Medicine’s latest recommendations, incorporates a local food item, and can easily be replicated in a real school food service environment.

11 a.m. Monday
The production kitchen at Farwell Middle School, 19955 Fenelon St., will be open for a tour.

The facility is the central hub where food from local farms is prepared for use in cafeterias at 22 DPS K-8 schools. The Harvest Michigan pilot program was launched this year and will expand to 40 schools in the fall. It aims to provide healthy meals using 100 percent locally sourced produce within five years.

2 p.m. Monday
Judging for the cooking competition begins. Karen Duncan, wife of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Christie Vilsack, wife of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, will be among the judges. Other judges include Jimmy Schmidt, chef at Rattlesnake Club restaurant in Detroit and Alison Costello, executive chef of Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.

About 700 people working in various aspects of farm to school, including farmers, non-profit organizations, school officials, activists, parents and students, will visit Detroit as part of the conference, which is being held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. They will network and work to move the agenda of farm to school forward.
To learn more about the conference, visit:
To learn more about the competition, visit:

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