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InHarvest to Participate in 2014 School Food FOCUS National Gathering
BEMIDJI, MINN., Jan. 29, 2014—InHarvest has been selected to participate in the 2014 School Food FOCUS National Gathering Vendor Showcase in Oakland, Calif., on Feb. 7.
A program of Public Health Solutions, FOCUS is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and purchasing power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced and sustainably produced.
More than 250 school foodservice professionals, their community and national partners, government representatives, vendors, funders and other advocates will gather to make groundbreaking strides in school food procurement.
Participating vendors were chosen by a selection committee, which includes school foodservice professionals and FOCUS staff. Applicants underwent an extensive review process with an emphasis on the following product criteria:
• Does not contain high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives, trans fats or hydrogenated oils, or bleached flour
• Exemplary nutritional profile, such as whole grain/high fiber, low fat and/or with healthy fats, and low added sugar and sodium
• Qualifies as a meal component for USDA breakfast, lunch or snack
• School market ready
• Competitive pricing
• Preference given to vendors with a commitment to sustainable production methods
The Vendor Showcase is an intimate event, designed to create ample opportunity for creative conversation and problem solving. Vendors will engage directly and in depth with the people who make buying decisions for school districts.
“This is our second year participating, and this year our Ruby Wild Blend™ will be featured as part of the Center for Ecoliteracy’s opening-night Pop up Kitchen event,” says Coleen Donnelly, InHarvest’s corporate chef for K-12. “This gets district members cooking from the CEL’s cookbook, which includes recipes used in the California Thursdays program pioneered by Oakland Nutrition Services in partnership with the California Alliance for Family Farmers. Four of the five grains in our Ruby Wild are grown in California.”
InHarvest’s 100% whole-grain Ruby Wild Blend, which consists of Colusari™ Red Rice, sprouted red rice, wild rice, sprouted brown rice and long-grain brown rice, is also gluten free.
Through a network of school foodservice leaders, their partners and national allies, FOCUS helps bring transformative change to school food for 36 of the nation’s largest school districts, representing more than 4.2 million students. More information is available at www.schoolfoodfocus.org.
Headquartered in northern Minnesota with operations in California, InHarvest is a foremost U.S. producer and procurer of some of the world’s most distinctive varieties of grains, beans, legumes and blends for the foodservice, industrial and retail sectors. The company’s dedication to discovering and promoting lesser-known, heirloom grains and seeds is deep-rooted in its 35-year heritage of providing inspiration and solutions to an evolving food industry. For more information, visit www.InHarvest.com.