Farm to school
The farm-to-school lunch movement has quickly been gaining momentum in the last few years and with good reason! These types of programs offer wonderful benefits to students in terms of nutrition and food literacy. In addition, farm-to-school programs help support local agriculture and promote local economies. Dreamy as these programs sound, many school districts are unsure of how to get started and often interest in such a program begins to decline.
However, successful implementation can be achieved! Many schools across the nation from Washington state to Georgia are running effective programs and setting the standard for what farm-to-school can offer.
In terms of Family and Consumer Science education, farm-to-school programs offer educational opportunities for lessons on health, nutrition, food science, cooking methods and the potential for STEM integration, in short, the potential is limitless.
The national farm-to-school network notes that farm-to-school programs can look different by location but they always encompasses 3 components;
- Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
- School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.
If you are interested in setting up a farm to school program at your school we have included a few helpful links, as well as, a slide show detailing how to get started. If you would like more information on farm-to-school programs, lesson plans or supplemental material relating to this topic please let us know in the reply section below.