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Local foods recipe challenge winners announced

Teams from West Elk Unified School District 282 and Valley Falls USD 338 have been announced as the winners of the Local Foods Recipe Challenge, which required teams comprised of students, educators, school nutrition professionals and local farmers to develop recipes featuring Kansas-grown products. 

The Kansas State Department of Education’s Child Nutrition and Wellness (CNW) team organized the multi-year recipe challenge as part of the $289,000 2021 Team Nutrition Training Grant. It challenged students to pair up with local producers and family and consumer science or culinary educators to develop recipes using Kansas ingredients. 

Teams had to develop recipes that met all school nutrition guidelines, were easily scalable and tasted good to other students. Each competing school received a $200 subgrant to purchase supplies and recipe ingredients. 

Dozens of recipes were submitted to KSDE’s CNW team. Submitted recipes were evaluated by a panel of school food service directors and chefs based on student acceptability, feasibility of preparation and menu planning considerations. Six recipes were deemed finalists. However, due to feasibility, only five were tested. Testing sites included Manhattan Catholic Schools and schools in Shawnee Mission, Hutchinson and Haven. 

After rigorous testing and meeting the requirement of 85% student acceptability, four winning recipes emerged. The winners of the Local Foods Recipe Challenge are:  

  • West Elk Unified School District 282 (West Elk High School), Poppa Chocky Muffin. 
  • West Elk Unified School District 282 (West Elk High School), Pumpkin Bar. 
  • Valley Falls USD 338 (Valley Falls High School), Berry Delicious Applesauce. 
  • Valley Falls USD 338 (Valley Falls High School), Kansas Granola. 


The winning recipes will be featured in the CNW Healthier Kansas Menus and the CNW Local Foods Culinary Training, a new training for Kansas Child Nutrition Programs on how to implement Kansas Farm to Plate and incorporate Kansas products into local menus.  

Winning recipes also will be included in the Team Nutrition recipe database that will be accessible to child nutrition programs across the nation.  

Congratulations to the winning teams from West Elk USD 282 and Valley Falls USD 338. Watch for stories on winning teams in upcoming editions of KSDEweekly. 

Posted: Oct 5, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush
Tags: CNW

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