by Erin Croom, Farm to School Director, Georgia Organics
Earlier this month, Georgia Organics and two Carrollton City Schools students were invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama, along with twenty other students from across the country, in the White House Kitchen Garden Harvest. The two rising 7th graders, Sebastian Mason and Nicholas Mansour, were selected to attend due to their personal advocacy and love for their school’s salad bar, which was funded by Let’s Move Salad Bar and the Blank Family Foundation and spearheaded by Carrollton School Nutrition Director, Dr. Linette Dodson.
In addition to visiting the White House, the students participated in a Congressional hearing on a salad bar bill, sponsored by Ohio Representative, Tim Ryan. After hearing testimony from other politicians, a school nutritionist, Center for Disease Control and Prevention research scientist Dr. Diane Harris (and past Georgia Organics Board member), Sebastian and Nicholas stepped up to the podium to share their story of how their school salad bar encouraged them to eat more vegetables, and gave them exciting choices to choose from each day.
After the Congressional hearing, the students worked alongside the First Lady and White House chefs in the East Room to prepare a tasty and healthy meal using produce that was harvested from the Kitchen Garden that morning — like broccoli, peas, and kohlrabi. The garden veggies were combined with grilled honey chicken and soba noodles to make a delicious lunch. The twenty students then joined the First Lady at small dining tables to enjoy the lunch and talk to her more about healthy eating and gardening.
This is the event marks first time that any Georgia representatives were invited to the White House to participate in an official White House garden planting or harvest event. Georgia Organics is incredibly proud to have attended and help represent the many great Farm to School programs, like Carrollton City Schools, across Georgia.
Want to make that delicious salad? Go here for the recipe!