Farm-to-school programs

Our school cafeterias are giving students the opportunity to enjoy nutritious food grown locally. The Farm Fresh Friday and Harvest of the Month programs take place to support healthy lifestyle habits and teach students about agriculture and the local farms their foods come from.

Farm Fresh Friday

grapefruit slices in front of a barn

The Texas Department of Agriculture created the Farm Fresh Friday initiative to connect Texans all across our state to agriculture and our local farmers and ranchers.  The Farm Fresh goal is to increase awareness of the integral role agriculture plays in our lives and improving wellness in our community.  Every Friday, our cafeterias will feature a Texas-grown menu item.

When students make the Farm Fresh choice they support the hardworking producers across our state and help improve the local economy.

Harvest of the Month

Each month a different locally grown fruit or vegetable option is available in our cafeterias. Agricultural fact sheets teach students about the products and farms of Texas. We hope to increase the number of fruits and vegetables that students are eating.

Rainbow chard

Texas Rainbow Chard

Enjoy Texas Rainbow Chard in your cafeteria on Friday, February 12th.

Swiss chard is a leafy green belonging to the Chenopodioideae family, which also includes beets and spinach. Grown worldwide, it’s prized for its ability to grow in poor soils and its low need for water and light. Although its name may lead you to believe it originated in Switzerland, Swiss chard is native to the Mediterranean.

There are many types of Swiss chard, some of which have colorful, jewel-toned stalks and veins, making this vegetable particularly pleasing to the eye. What’s more, its leaves and stalks provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals and powerful plant compounds.

The earthy-tasting Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse -- an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesiumpotassium, iron, and dietary fiber. One cup of chopped Swiss chard has just 35 calories and provides more than 300% of the daily value for vitamin K

Texas Rainbow Chard Salad with strawberry buttermilk dressing recipe

Yield: 5 servings

1 lb. Texas rainbow chard
1 cup sliced cucumber
¾ cup frozen strawberries, thawed
¼  cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. oil
1 Tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash rainbow chard and trim a quarter-inch off the stems and discard.
2. Chop leaves and remaining stems into bite-size pieces.
3. Wash and cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and slice each section into half-moons.
4. Toss Texas rainbow chard and cucumbers together in a bowl. 

Strawberry Buttermilk dressing

1. Place vinegar, buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, salt, pepper, honey, oil and strawberry into a large mixing bowl.
2. With a wire whisk break up the larger pieces of strawberry and mix all ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour the desired amount over your Texas rainbow chard and cucumbers; then toss together to coat.