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Farm Fresh, Locally Grown Food Introduced to Tioga Central School District in "NY Thursday's" Lunch Program

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TIOGA CENTER -

New York Thursday’s kicked off in Tioga County today, giving hundreds of students the chance to enjoy locally-grown food in their cafeteria.

The program’s opening day festival gathered students to try the farm-fresh food, and get a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a farmer.

The district planted its own crops of potatoes, corn, and pumpkins in Tiger Farm, the field located behind the schools.

Students spent the morning working in their agriculture classroom, digging up potatoes and picking pumpkins.

Mike Harris, owner of Lone Maple Farm in Binghamton, is one farmer of dozens in the process of producing fruits and vegetables for the district.

Harris is excited to not only help his farm, but help children get the nutrients they need.

It’s going to help our farm by an additional revenue source, and it’s going to help the students with a higher nutritional product. We see this as an opportunity as a win-win.

While the program only provides farm-fresh food to students on Thursday’s, state leaders like Richard Ball, Commissioner of New York State Agriculture and Markets, hopes to extend the program to an everyday practice.

Our goal is to have all of the food, everyday, throughout the school year, come from local sources.

Tioga Central is one of five districts introducing locally-grown food to students in the Upstate area.