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Apple Crunch Day at Southern Door focuses on local foods

Students pass out apples to elementary school students at Southern Door Elementary School Oct. 12, 2017. (WLUK/Brittany Ford)

BRUSSELS (WLUK) -- Some Southern Door Elementary students have a new appreciation for apples, and they made that known.

"It's really good, and I eat it to the core," one said.

"I love it," said another.

The students participated in Apple Crunch Day on Thursday.

"It's a national program where we try to locally sort apples throughout the county," said John Swanson, chef for Southern Door schools.

Swanson says the day is meant to educate students on healthier eating habits.

"We have six different varieties behind me, with names on them, so the kids can read about the different flavor characteristics."

It's also a celebration of everything apple.

"So every dish, we have a little bit of a twist to it," Swanson said.

He said the high school lunch menu featured a variety of apple inspired dishes Thursday.

"Wild rice risotto with apples; chicken braised with apples and a little bit of maple syrup and bacon."

Swanson said more than 800 apples were donated by a local farm for the day. He said it was also a way to promote the importance of locally grown produce.

"The local farmers within a radius of 30 miles of us: We use local cheese, local beef, local apples." Swanson said.

He said hosting the day required a lot of prep work.

"Actually, started yesterday prepping some things getting things ready, then today, all three of us worked all day long," Swanson said.

But it's something students look forward to each year.

The apples were donated by the Kielar Orchard farm, located in Forestville.

This was the sixth year the district has participated in the day.

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