Farm to School

Nutrition Services is committed to provide healthy school meals and snacks to the students of Omaha Public Schools every day. Farm to School is a program that connects schools (K-12) and farmers who produce local foods. The objectives are to serve healthy meals, improve student nutrition, provide agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities; and support the local and regional economy.

Starting September 1, 2016, the first Thursday of each month our menus will feature items which are grown, produced, or packaged in Nebraska.  Known as "Nebraska Thursdays", the day will feature locally sourced products.  It is our way of supporting the local economy and to highlight Nebraska companies.

The menu includes the below Nebraska produced items.  Other menu options are also available at all schools:


           Ranch (Elementary) or Spicy (Secondary) Chicken Drummies - Smart Chicken, Tecumseh, NE
           Breadstick - Rotella's Bakery, Omaha, NE

           Pepped Up Potatoes - Farmer's Fresh, O'Neil, NE

           Hiland Milk - Hiland Dailry, Omaha NE

           We will also feature carrot dippers and icy blueberries...


Establishing relationships is key to a successful Farm to School Program. Partnering with local producers and distributors, we continuously expand our local offerings during lunch. Additionally, Nutrition Services is a stakeholder with School Food FOCUS, a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced.

For the fourth year in a row, public school districts across the Midwest (Minneapolis, St. Paul, Detroit, Des Moines, and Omaha) celebrated Food Day during the first week of October using the similar locally sourced products. Omaha Public Schools celebrated Food Day on Thursday, October 6, 2016 with the following menu:

            Ranch Chicken Drummies (Elementary Schools) – from Smart Chicken, Tecumseh, NE.

            Oven Baked Fiery Chicken (Secondary Schools) – from Smart Chicken, Tecumseh, NE.

            Pepped Up Potatoes – from Farmer’s Fresh – O’Neil, NE.

            Fresh Local Apple – from DeGroot’s Orchard, Madison, NE.

            Warm Breadstick – from Rotella’s Bakery, Omaha, NE.

            Cool, Fresh Milk – from Hiland Dairy, various producers within 100 miles of Omaha, NE.

Listed below are several of the producers who provide us with fresh and local products for the 2016-17 school year:

              A&T Farms                    Yutan, NE
              Daniel’s Produce           Columbus, NE
              Heldt Farms                   Ashland, NE
              Hiland Dairy                   Omaha, NE
              Pekarek’s Produce         Dwight, NE
              Small’s Fruit Farms        Mondamin, IA
              Smart Chicken               Tecumseh, NE
              Union Orchard                Union, NE


The Midwest Menu is organized by five large districts participating in the Focus Midwest Learning Lab: Chicago Public Schools, Des Moines Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Detroit Public Schools Community District.  The food service directors, staff, and community partners of the Focus Midwest Learning Lab have been working together since 2012 to collectively leverage their purchasing power to improve the quality of food served to public school students.  The Learning Lab is a project of School Food Focus, a national non-profit organization which supports schools districts to move toward school meals which feature more healthful, regional and sustainable menu items.  These five districts alone will serve over 475,000 students through the Midwest Menu event in Ocober.

Farm to School