Grizzly Hill Elementary school in North San Juan broke new ground a few years ago when they pushed for organic food in their school meals. Now, they are providing a salad bar three to four days a week, and the kids (and parents) are eating it up. Erika Triligia, a Grizzly Hill parent, appreciates the reduction in food waste: “They get to pick what they want, so they don’t throw it away.” Student Starlight Makonen, a vegetarian, agrees: “You get to pick what you want to eat. I love that!”
Kids can choose from 16 different ingredients along with green lettuce mix; tomatoes, pepperoncinis, baby corn, black olives, red bell peppers, carrots, onions, and hard boiled eggs are often part of the mix. Some of the produce is even locally sourced, from nearby Mountain Bounty farm, but their favorite produce comes from an even closer location — the school garden.
It’s not just the kids who are enjoying the salad bar. Paraprofessional Karen Peake, who works with children at the school, says, “It’s the best thing that has happened to this school this year. The faculty are totally wild about this. The bottom line is the kids and staff are eating more veggies since we got this salad bar from Sierra Harvest.” Brian Kersey, a Grizzly Hill staff member, loves the ranch dressing that the Grizzly Hill kitchen staff makes from scratch: “The salad bar is my favorite part of my day.”