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Taste Test: Fresno Unified School District students get to come up with a local farm to school brand

On September 12, 2017, forty-seven students on the Student Advisory Board from all over Fresno Unified School District participated in a taste test event which included a variety of food produced by their Food Services Department. Fresno Unified School District trustees Valerie Davis, Christopher De La Cerda, Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas, and Carol Mills all participated.

“As a school board member I recognize that Fresno is the food basket of the world and know the benefits of serving locally-grown fresh food to our students’ at school; nurturing our students and local economies.  We have to offer healthy, nutritious food but by the same token we need to make sure kids want to eat it, which is why getting their input is so important.” Elizabeth Jonasson, Fresno Unified School District Trustee Area 2.

School who took part in participation:
◾Bullard High
◾McLane High
◾Edison High
◾Duncan Polytechnical
◾Roosevelt High
◾Cambridge High
◾Patino School of Entrepreneurship
◾Hoover High
◾Phoenix Secondary Academy
◾Sunnyside High
◾Dewolf High
◾Design Science
◾Fresno High

The new school menu items sampled included a Whole Grain Hawaiian Roll, BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders & Coleslaw, Super Nachos, Alaskan Pollock Fish Sticks w/ Curly Fries and a Hawaiian Roll, and a Breakfast Tornado – Taquito from Ruiz Foods along with locally grown fruits and vegetables.

“We are always testing new menu items that are healthy and appealing to students,” said Jose Alvarado, Director of Food Services for Fresno Unified School District. “Our priority is to support student learning by making sure students have access to nutritious meals. We want to provide our students nutritious meals every day because it is important to their academic well-being.”

The goal was to educate the students about connecting with local farmers and creating awareness about consuming locally grown fruits and vegetables. Part of the task for the participants were to develop a brand name which will then be selected as part of the local farm of school program by the end of October this year. The name brands that the students came up with were: flow up, get green, eat right, level up, FRESH, Earthly Produced, Ground Up, FV&V Up, dig in, freshv, fruit brutes, fruit loops, let’s grub, views, just eat!!, lit up, fuel up, eat up, fresher than fresh, green out, grub-up, grub up, veggie clap back, fresh view, round up.

“This project will help our local growers capitalize on local market opportunities while also ensuring that our kids have access to quality food grown in their own community.”    Jensen Vang, Food Systems Development Director.

If your school is not currently supporting local farms in your community, Farm Ready Education for School Health (FRESH) Program is a great way to become involved and start your local farm to school initiative. For more info, please contact

This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.