Montgomery County is one of only three school districts in Tennessee taking part in a program that puts produce and dairy from local farms onto the menu.
Local Foods for Local Schools is the focus of the Farm to School Program, a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Education that launched last year.
At Rossview Elementary School in Clarksville on Friday, students were eating potatoes, squash and watermelon, while eggs from local farms were used in bread rolls and tomatoes in a beef-macaroni bake.
"We will not have locally grown all year round but we will have some that's in the freezer," children's nutritionist director Debbie Mobley said. "We were concerned that it might cost more in the beginning, but to be quite honest, we've seen about a 5% savings."
Farmers must be certified and have a special insurance policy to participate in the program.
Every few days they bring trucks carrying the local produce which is divided between the schools.
"Working with the locals, the economy it helps them, it helps the children to see that something is coming from a vine, because we can take field trips out to the farm," Mobley continued, adding, "It's fresh, it's not something that was picked weeks past and brought in green and allowed to ripen."
Read more about the USDA's Food to Farm program online at USDA.gov.