CHIPLEY - Students at Kate M. Smith attended a farmers market in their very own cafeteria on Wednesday.
Washington District Schools food service provider Chartwells sponsored the event in an effort to help teach students about healthy eating habits, as well as about the shopping process.
Students were given two dollars in play money to spend on fruits and vegetables, choosing from a selection of fresh and locally grown varieties of apples, bananas, oranges and new potatoes.
Chartwells Regional Manager Julio Narvaez said it was exciting to encourage the kids to choose healthy options.
"This is a great time to offer the students the opportunity to try something new," said Narvaez. "It's never too soon to teach our students to try new foods, especially locally grown fruits and veggies."
Cherokee Ranch in Jackson County helps supply oranges to area schools. Owner Mack Glass was on hand at the event and says satsuma oranges grown on his farm will be available next month when the season begins.
"I am so proud to have my fruit available in the area schools," said Glass. "Chartwells is one of our biggest customers and have helped to make that happen."
Bringing fresh fruits and veggies to the area schools is one way of building strong community ties, according to Chartwells Regional Marketing Manager Amanda Blank.
"It is extremely important for Washington County School District to foster strong partnerships and support for the local community, especially the farming community," she said. "We want our students to feel that connection. We also want them to have the opportunity to express gratitude for all of the hard working farmers in our community."