HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- Here in the Southern Tier, several school districts are taking part in the Farm 2 School Initiative. That initiative wants to make sure kids are fed, and they stay healthy using New York State grown foods. School cafeterias in our area are looking to hold true to that "farm-to-fork" mindset.

When you think of school lunch stereotypes, healthy food options usually aren't what first pops into ones head. It's that thinking that this program hopes to change, along with better menu choices across the board. With a heavy influence of agriculture in New York State, there are so many regionally grown and produced foods that the Farm 2 School Initiative hopes to utilize.

At the school I was able to speak with the GST BOCES Regional Food Service Director Joe Kilmer, and he said, "We try to make foods that are kid friendly that they want to eat. We will use MyPlate recommendations, which a lot of folks are familiar with."

"Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, and we try to offer a wide variety of that. Everything from cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, oranges, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Things that students may or may not eat on a regular basis."

With new choices made available every month, the variety of options stays fresh, which also allows more New York foods to be featured. Kilmer added, "There's a long history of people liking foods from a diverse background. We want to try and focus on things that our area is successful on. Last month we had local apple cider which everyone loved."

"We have Barilla pasta which has a plant in Avon, NY. So, we have foods that are craveable for kids that they may not know are made local, and we can focus and educate them on that."