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Statewide Initiative Brings Fresh Foods to Classroom

"When they eat healthy locally grown produce in their lunches that it tastes good and they'll make better choices as they make their decisions on what they're going to eat," said Buddy Hance, Maryland Agriculture Secretary.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A statewide celebration is bringing fresh foods from the farm to the classroom. During the sixth annual Homegrown School Lunch Week, all school lunches will have locally grown and produced food.

On Monday, Pangborn Elementary School students talked with farmers and local officials about where their foods come from.

During this week's events students are learning about where their foods come from and even some of the furry friends who help make their food.

"When they eat healthy locally grown produce in their lunches that it tastes good and they'll make better choices as they make their decisions on what they're going to eat and that they, we, make this connection with how important agriculture is to the community and their future," said Buddy Hance, Maryland Agriculture Secretary.

Pangborn Elementary students engaged with farmers and learned the importance of eating fresh foods.

"I think it's good for us so it can help us live and be healthy," said Kate Marquiss, second grader at Pangborn Elementary.

"I hope most of the kids that leave here today will go home and have a conversation with mom or dad and say hey we had some stuff today where they talked about healthy stuff, mom let's go to the grocery store together," said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent.

Officials also hope this event sparks an interest in agriculture.

"We also want to talk a little about the future, their future, and how they can have careers in agriculture and the things that they can you know accomplish there and in agriculture as it moves forward," said Hance.

"We also hope to change the eating habits of some of our young kids we hope to encourage them to get more exercise and just lead healthier lives," said Wilcox. 

All 24 Maryland School Districts are participating in this fresh food initiative. And in Washington County, officials are working to bring more locally grown foods into school lunches on a regular basis. For more information, check out www.marylandfarmtoschool.org. 

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