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Dillon Hill was born and raised in Buffalo, and figures the city would be a great place to start a farm.

“All you really need is an empty lot and some dirt and seeds and you basically have one – and we have a lot of empty lots,” said Hill, who just finished his senior year at Frederick Law Olmsted High School.

Hill, 17, of Riverside, is spending his fourth year at the Massachusetts Avenue Project urban farm this summer, and was among the student food policy leaders who helped bring salad bars to more than a dozen Buffalo Public School cafeterias in the just-completed school year.

Olmsted High has a salad bar three times a week. What was your school lunch week like this year?

I usually had the salad bar two days, and peanut butter and jelly from home two days and a school lunch for one. On the salad bar, they give you lettuce with some chicken and you can put your own toppings on it. I usually got banana peppers, carrots and ranch dressing. A lot of kids do take the salad bar because it’s new and they like it.

What are some of the vegetables MAP has opened your eyes to on its farm?

I didn’t know about Swiss chard and a lot of greens and a bunch of different kinds of tomatoes. Rutabaga, purple beans, snap peas.

Do you bring any of those things home?

If there’s something I like at our farm stand, I’ll buy it.

– Scott Scanlon

On the Web: Read more about how students are changing Buffalo school lunches at blogs.buffalonews.com/refresh