Local Distributor Connects Schools, Farmers

Kingsport (VA) City Schools uses a local distributor to collect fresh produce from area farms and deliver it to the school kitchens, reports the Kingsport Times-News. The arrangement allows district students to get fresh fruits and vegetables with their meals while helping local farmers sell their crops. The distributor, Simply Fresh Produce Co., purchases directly from farmers and sells not only to the school district but area restaurants and the general public as well.

It picks up at the farm sites if the volume is big enough, while smaller scale growers transport their product to the warehouse. Recent product has included tomatoes, cucmbers, peppers, cabbage, watermelon and cantaloupes. The product is competitively priced with product available from growing areas in distant states because of the volume produced in the growing season and the short distances it has to travel. The 6,800-student district usually serves about 98,000 meals a month.