Updated: Jul 17
Since 2014, millions of bites have been taken out of local apples each October for the Great Apple Crunch, an annual event celebrating National Farm to School Month.
Do Fresh Apples Reduce Food Waste?
America’s orchards produce 9.9 billion pounds of apples each year, but about 3 billion pounds of those apples are lost on the farm or wasted at the consumer level. Conventionally produced apples can sit in cool storage for up to a year before purchase, this leads to reduced quality and increased waste. Local apples are fresher, tastier, and safer, this means they are wasted less!
Did Cincinnati Public Schools Celebrate the Crunch?
Yes, they did! Jessica Shelly, Director of Student Dining Services at CPS shares "CPS is proud to help our students participate in the yearly Great Apple Crunch! This collective crunch not only encourages healthy eating, but continues our support of farm-to-school and local food purchasing initiatives. This year our Great Apple Crunch apples were purchased from Bauman Orchards in Rittman, OH and Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights, OH. We know when we serve delicious, fresh produce our students are more likely to eat more and have less food waste."
Are Fresh Foods Available to Everyone?
Local apples are available throughout Greater Cincinnati and organizations like Produce Perks, Ohio’s Nutrition Incentive Program, and Hamilton County R3Source are making access even easier.
Produce Perks empowers low-income families to eat more fruits and vegetables while supporting local farmers and strengthening local economies. The Produce Perks program provides a $25 match on SNAP/EBT and purchases. This means that any amount spent with SNAP/EBT or P-EBT, up to $25, will be matched $1-for$1. Produce Perks matching dollars can be spend on fruits and vegetables.
Hamilton County R3Source’s Wasted Food Stops With Us campaign provides tools to teach consumers how to reduce food waste and technical assistance to partners who recover surplus food to make sure that wholesome food gets to people before being composted.
To learn more about the farm to school movement in Greater Cincinnati check out the work of Green Umbrella and the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council.
Easy Caramel Apple Dip:
Do you have picky eaters? Try making this simple apple dip to encourage your children to eat apples!
· 1 Block Cream Cheese
· 1 Cup Brown Sugar
· 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1. Set out cream cheese and warm to room temperature.
2. Place cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla in a bowl.
3. Mix until creamy.
a. You can top your apple dip with chopped nuts or toffee for a little extra crunch.
4. Refrigerate for up to one week.