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Each year, Las Cruces Public Schools applies and receives funds from the State of New Mexico to participate in the New Mexico Grown program. Our district is proud to participate in this program not only to support our local farmers, but to also provide students with the opportunity to eat foods that are grown here in our state. With the NM Grown funds, LCPS will go on to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and meats that are produced here in the state of New Mexico.
In honor of New Mexico Grown Month (Sept. 12 – Oct. 7), the Nutrition Services Department will be celebrating by providing students and staff throughout the district with locally grown meals on Sept. 22. This means 100 percent of the items and ingredients that go into preparing the main meal for that day, will be coming from our local farmers and ranchers in Doña Ana County.
The menu for the day will feature local ingredients such as handmade blue corn tortillas, ground beef, pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes, taco toppings, watermelon, and the homemade green chile salsa with local garlic, onions, tomatoes and of course, Hatch Green Chile.
The New Mexico Grown Initiative provides New Mexico students with regionally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, while providing a new market for farmers, an economic benefit to both urban and rural areas, and assists schools with meeting new Federal nutrition requirements. Additionally, New Mexico Grown ties together under one vision many of NM’s Farm to Table programs.
The purpose of the New Mexico Grown Grant, is to encourage school districts across New Mexico to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables that are grown in the state for school meals. The Public Education Department will work to foster links between schools and local farms and/or farm organizations so that freshly harvested local foods become a staple in the diets of New Mexico students. The funding for New Mexico Grown is made available through a SY22-23 state appropriation.
Keep an eye on the menu for other locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats throughout the year!