Negaunee High School Environmental Science Class Receives Local Food Grant

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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) – A Marquette County high school wants to bring freshly grown food to its lunches.

Todd Backlund’s environmental science class at Negaunee High School received a $2,000 grant for this initiative from Michigan State University’s Lift-Up program. Backlund thinks this program can greatly benefit those who eat at school.

“Fresh food, you know, that doesn’t sit in a truck for two weeks, three weeks to get here is much better,” Backlund says. “They’re healthier, so we want to take this initiative to show kids how easy it is to grow it, get it locally, and incorporate it into their lunch schedule.”

According to environmental science student Elliott Rasmussen, Negaunee High already has a school lunch food drive program. “We raise pigs and chickens, we collect eggs,” Rasmussen says of his class. “Learning about agriculture, conservation, how to grow and plant and take care of animals, etc. is great. I’m so glad we have something like this.

The class met Little Parsley Farm, a vegetable farm in Chocolay Township that grows vegetables sustainably. The class worked with the farm and came up with the idea of ​​using a hydroponic system to grow lettuce, spinach and kale.

Environmental science student John Lauren says the system can reduce the cost of incorporating fresh food into school lunches. “Right now it’s hard to get locally grown food, if it was easy we would already have it,” Lauren says. “With a hydroponic system, it will be easier for everything.”

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