Celebrate National Farm To School
Month In October
By Elisha Smith
Center for Rural Affairs
Sadly, many school aged children do not know where their food comes from. In fact neither do many adults. According to a survey commissioned by the U.S Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, 72% of consumers know nothing or very little about farming or ranching.
But Farm to School Programs are trying to change that. Thirty million kids eat school lunch every day. More than 42,000 schools participate nationwide in Farm to School initiatives reaching an estimated 23.6 million children.
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to recognize the importance of farm to school as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate communities about the origins of their food.
“Farm to School” refers to schools serving local, farm-fresh foods ranging from fruits and vegetable to honey and meat. These programs enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.
The 2016 National Farm to School Month theme, One Small Step, highlights simple ways anyone can get informed, get involved and take action to advance farm to school in their own communities and across the country. Learn more at farmtoschool.org.
Moreover, the Center for Rural Affairs has many farm to school resources including a Farm to School Month Starter Kit (http://www.cfra.org/f2s ).