A Duval County elementary school is offering students the chance to grow the fruits and vegetables they’ll eat in the cafeteria. New Berlin Elementary School in Northeast Jacksonville is one of eight schools nationwide to begin a pilot of the gardening program. It’s a partnership with Duval Schools’ foodservice provider, Chartwells, and the National Gardening Association.
Brian Giles, the k-12 vice president of operations for Chartwells, says, "What we have found through our research and also our experience is students, kids, if they are involved in the planting and growing of fresh fruits and vegetables, they will be more likely to eat those fresh fruits and vegetables that we offer in the cafeteria."
Giles says the school garden can also be used as a "learning hub" where teachers can tailor their own curricula about a variety of topics, from soil science to economics.