The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services today announced that Duval County students will enjoy Florida-grown strawberries during school meals throughout the remainder of growing season. The department’s Farm to School program helped facilitate Duval County Public Schools’ purchase of approximately 8,800 pounds of Florida strawberries from Wish Farms, located in Plant City, Fla.
Harris Wishnatzki began selling produce from a pushcart in 1900, which led to starting a wholesale business in 1922. Over the last 90 years, Wishtnatzki’s family helped Wish Farms evolve by adopting innovative practices. Wish Farms grows conventional and organic strawberry varieties and utilizes “How’s My Picking?” This patented tool ties consumer feedback to specific information from each day’s harvest to ensure quality. Today, Wish Farms is owned by third generation family owner, Gary Wishnatzki.
The Farm to School program also helped connect the Columbia County School District’s distributor with multiple growers in Hillsborough County to facilitate a purchase of more than 650 pounds of strawberries.
The Farm to School program connects K-12 schools with Florida farmers and growers to provide locally grown produce to students during school meals. Since 2015, the Farm to School program has facilitated the purchase of nearly 600,000 pounds of fresh, seasonal produce to Florida schools through opportunity buys.
The Farm to School program positively impacts local economies, reduces transportation costs and helps preserve farms and farmland. Producers interested in providing fresh fruit and vegetables to local schools should contact Beth Spratt at 850-617-7419 or Beth.Spratt@FreshFromFlorida.com.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.