Fourth Annual Taco Tuesday Hits School Cafeterias on May 10
- Published: Monday, May 2, 2016
On May 10 over 8,000 students in Humboldt and Del Norte County schools will be taking part in the fourth annual Taco Tuesday. Featuring local grass fed beef, this two county Farm to School event provides an opportunity to celebrate local producers and change the face of school food across the region.
The Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) is thrilled to be working with school food service staff and local producers to make Taco Tuesday possible. Rancher and Humboldt County native Clint Victorine (owner of Eel River Organic Beef and Pacific Pastures Beef) and Matt Westbrook (owner of Oat Hill Organic Beef) are once again the primary sponsors of the event. Students will also enjoy sour cream generously donated from Humboldt Creamery on their grass fed beef tacos.
Victorine helped launch Taco Tuesday in 2013. He works with a large number of local ranchers who market their high quality beef under his labels. “We produce some of the healthiest beef around, and love that it has become such a hit with kids on Taco Tuesday,” says Victorine.
The salsa recipe that won the People’s Choice award at the 2016 Culinary AllSTARS Salsa Recipe Competition will also be produced by the Eureka City Schools kitchen team and distributed to participating schools. Called “Humboldt’s Finest,” the recipe was created by a team of after school students from Grant Elementary School while working with Chef Belem Espitia from Pachanga Mexicana.
Taco Tuesday has provided a great opportunity to build awareness and support for Farm to School efforts in the region and the people involved. Laura Chase, Food Services Director at Eureka City Schools, agrees. “I like to participate in Taco Tuesday to bring awareness to student body and staff that we use locally produced food whenever possible. My goal is to be able to purchase local beef exclusively for our meal program in the future and spend our commodity dollars on other items that we can't get locally. Our kids would like Taco Tuesday every Tuesday,” says Chase.
Over the years the event has generated quite a following among students and staff across the county, and tends to generate big jumps in lunch participation. For example, last year, Pacific Union Elementary School saw their lunch count increase by around 18%.
This year HCOE added a poster competition to the mix. Seven secondary school classes were invited to submit designs for the promotional materials that will be posted at all the school sites. The winning poster came from Alejandro Ramirez, a student at Fortuna High School. He will receive a chips and salsa party for his graphics design class.
HCOE and Humboldt County Schools thank Clint Victorine, Matt Westbrook, Humboldt Creamery, and Redwood Meat Company for supporting the Fourth Annual Taco Tuesday in Humboldt County! Thank you also to the many local ranchers who sell through Clint Victorine’s labels, including: Bar 7 Livestock, Brightman Ranch, Capetown Ranch, Christiansen Ranch, Cook Ranch, Cottrell Ranch, Diamond C Ranch, Diamond R Ranch, J and J Rice Ranches, Jeral and Laurel Johnson, Lost Coast Ranch, Mike Christie Ranches, Mobley Livestock, Palmer Westbrook Ranches, Prior Ranches, Renner Ranches, Soldiers Basin Ranch, Townsend Livestock and Victorine Livestock.