KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — At Shasta Elementary School in Klamath Falls, the countdown was done over the intercom. Students throughout the school were ready to simultaneously bite into their Oregon-grown apples Oct. 30 as part of the first-ever Crunch at Once event.
“Three, two, one … crunch!”
Fourth-graders in Dena Morosin’s class crowded together and took their bites, showing off their bitten apples afterward. The Shasta Elementary students were joined by 3,000 students and their teachers at 11 schools around Klamath County. The event was hosted by the OSU Extension Service in celebration of National Farm-to-School Month.
“We hope this event sparked conversation for youth and their families about the important role farmers have in providing healthy food for our schools,” said organizer Patty Case, associate professor at OSU Extension Family and Community Health. “This year we crunched an apple. Who knows what we might crunch next year.”
OSU Extension’s Farm-to-School program purchased apples from Valley View Orchards in Ashland and used other apples donated by the Oregon Food Bank from Milton-Freewater in Umatilla County for the event. Participating schools included Bonanza, Chiloquin, Malin, Merrill, Shasta, Stearns, Henley, Pelican, Conger, Mills and Sage.
Oregon State University Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center partners with Klamath County School District and Klamath Falls City Schools to promote Oregon-grown foods in the cafeteria. Local farms that have linked with school cafeterias include Flying T Ranch, PoeTential Eggs, Bellweather Farms, Sweet Union Farm, Daniel Farm and Valley View Orchards.