ST. PETER — The day before Thanksgiving, students at St. Peter Lutheran School were able to enjoy a special meal of their own, with servings of pancakes, eggs, apples and more.
But what made this meal unique is that everything, down to some of the pancake ingredients, came from local growers.
Dan Coffman is a local grower who helped bring the food from farm to table and is responsible for the Kernza grain used in the pancake mix.
“I think it’s important … to showcase to the kids that there’s a lot of food grown in just our local area that normally you wouldn’t even think about or know about,” he said.
Coffman’s wife, Alysha, who is also on the school’s education committee, brought the idea to bring local food to the cafeteria to life and helped get a $2,500 First Bite Grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to make it possible.
She said she was able to in part use her own connections to ask farmers from places like Nicollet, New Ulm and more to pitch in.
“I just thought it would be fun to bring local foods, because local foods have really blessed our community, and for our students to see and make that connection to where foods are from,” she said.
“We’re also trying to support the local farmers and the growers as well.”
Around seven growers and farmers in total helped out.
Principal Daniel Whitney praised the idea behind the project and the First Bite Grant.
“Then we can talk to the kids about locally grown foods,” he said.