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Minneapolis – Mary Anderson, supervisor of Wayzata Public Schools’ Culinary Express foodservice program, was honored yesterday by the School Nutrition Association for her innovative leadership of Wayzata’s school nutrition program.

“Mary’s work sets a gold standard for school nutrition around the state,” said JoAnne Berkenkamp, director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s (IATP) Local Foods program. “Her program’s emphasis on nutrition, local sourcing and cultural diversity really shows what is possible when it comes to providing healthy food for our kids.”

Anderson received the 2010 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Silver Leadership Award, given by the School Nutrition Association every year at their annual meeting.

This year, Wayzata schools’ farm to school initiative features fresh fruits and vegetables from Minnesota including sweet corn, beets, parsnips and squash, as well as local cheese, grains and other items.

In addition to leading the Wayzata program, Anderson serves as president of the Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA). IATP is partnering with Anderson and MSNA to expand farm to school initiatives statewide by helping schools with staff training, procurement, student education and communications support.

Minnesota’s farm to school work is garnering increased national attention. In November, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited with Anderson, IATP and other school nutrition leaders to get a first-hand look at the state’s farm to school work.

In the coming months, IATP and MSNA will release a survey of farm to school initiatives taking place around the state, demonstrating the strong growth of these efforts.