Last week, the elementary schools in Cumberland and North Yarmouth celebrated Maine’s Harvest Lunch Week. School lunches featured local foods, including beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, corn and apples. From the reports I’ve received, the tacos tasted better than ever and the students finished all the fresh vegetables at the salad bar. At each of our three schools, significantly more kids ate hot lunch than on a typical day. I’m excited by the community’s enthusiasm for our Harvest Lunch, and inspired by the breadth of vegetables provided by our local farmers. I appreciate the great effort of Jon Carlson, our director of Food Services, who not only designed the menu, but personally drove to individual farms to pick up the produce. And thanks to our school principals, Susie Robbins and Becky Foley, for their support of the event. I know schools across the state enjoyed similar Harvest Lunches, and hope the celebrations of local food help build a foundation for increased partnerships between our schools and Maine farmers.