Move over, Idaho, ‘cuz taters gonna tate.
For the first time ever, on Thursday, January 19, public school cafeterias across New York City served French fries that were 100% made from New York State-harvested potatoes.
These State spuds, which were originally planted on August 2016 in Batavia, NY, were added to City school menus throughout the five boroughs as part of the DOE’s New York Thursdays, an initiative that was introduced in 2015 to provide all City schools with locally-grown/produced food on Thursdays. The addition of State potatoes to our New York Thursdays menus follows the introduction of the 100% NY beef burger earlier this school year.
So, what makes New York Thursdays so “a-peeling?”
Well, by going local, the DOE is helping to strengthen the State’s local agricultural economy and cut carbon emissions while boosting our students’ overall health and education about local farming. To produce enough French fries for the NY potatoes’ smash debut on City school menus on January 19, the DOE’s Office of SchoolFood worked with a local farm to grow approximately 127,296 pounds of Russett potates, which produced about 848,000 servings of French fries to our students.
Going forward, the Office of SchoolFood will continue to work with State farms to harvest more produce that can be incorporated into future New York Thursday menus. For more information about New York Thursdays and other school-based programs that help increase student consumption of fresh and locally-grown produce, such as Garden to Café, please visit SchoolFood’s website.