Haven food program gets locally sourced beef on schoolchildrens’ plates

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 7:17 AM CDT
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HAVEN, Kan. (KWCH) - Cattlemen in Haven are working to make sure kids in their area get to enjoy local beef while at school.

The Farm School Program sources beef from local cattle producers for Haven schools – making it the first year that they aren’t buying any beef for the school lunch program.

“We really wanted to get better food items into the kids hands and onto their plates,” Food Service Director Sheree Jones said. “We advertised on Shop Kansas Farms, and it went crazy. We got over 27 responses via email and over 1,700 on Shop Kansas Farms.”

Haven Schools are starting with more than 300 pounds of locally sourced beef to serve to students. Some of that beef was raised by Ryan Blubaugh, who was eager to help with the program.

“We knew the kids needed something better to eat at the schools,” Blubaugh said. “So we made a few phone calls and talked to some other local producers, and we were able to put together something for everybody and we get the first month going and after that I think it’ll be pretty smooth sailing.”

When the hamburger hit the lunch menu – it was a hit with students.

“I think you can definitely taste a difference between the store-bought stuff and locally produced and raised beef,” Haven student Jett Spradlyn said.

Blubaugh agreed.

“Locally raised always tastes better than big box companies. So, it’s also helping the local community,” he said. “The schools putting money back into the local producers. Producers are paying the local packing plant. So, all the money is staying local. Plus, we’re sending a good product into the schools.”

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