In September, Fairbury Public Schools hosted a meeting at the Fairbury Elks Lodge to discuss the farm to school program in Fairbury and the ways in which the community can come together to support adding locally produced food to the menu at the school.
Fairbury Superintendent Stephen Grizzle was impressed by the turnout at the meeting. He shared his enthusiasm for the program, explaining that he hopes to provide fresh food to the students Fairbury’s schools.
“I was really pleased with the turnout at the meeting, especially with this being a busy time of the year for producers,” said Grizzle. The meeting boosted my spirits, and I’m excited about this. We really want to be able to serve 100 percent beef, locally-raised, and be able to broadcast that it’s coming from this producer or that producer in Fairbury. I think it’s so important for the community and it’s so important for the kids to know what they’re eating and where it comes from.”
To make the farm to school program work, Grizzle explained, the school needs producers to donate cattle, and the community to make monetary donations to cover the cost of processing the beef at Diller Locker. People who are interested in supporting the program are encouraged to contact the Superintendent’s Office.
“Cash donations are a big help right now because we’re going to be using food service funds to pay for the processing,” Grizzle said. “The overall goal, if we can maximize our dream, would be to be able to get donated beef and to have cash donations that allow us to use the donated money to pay the processing fees. That would allow the food-service dollars on other things like fresh fruits and vegetables for the students. We could also replace equipment in the kitchen that is starting to get outdated. We’re just really excited about this. We want to see this happen in Fairbury.”