“The 527-student Riverdale School District easily began a new lunch program a year and a half ago since they are not under the USDA’s National School Lunch Program, a federally funded meal program, so that they can offer made-from-scratch, organic, local food.”—La Vida Locavore:: Farm-To-School In Oregon
As farmers struggle to mitigate the increasing cost of transporting produce from farm to store and schools face smaller budgets and increasing concerns over the nutritional content of school lunches, some schools opt to bring the farm to the lunch table.
“It’s really, really good," said sixth-grader Peter Imel, while chomping away on pizza. "When I first heard about it, I thought, ‘OK, maybe, maybe not.’ But it’s better than any restaurant I’ve been to.”—Food &Health Skeptic
Including local food in school lunches and related information in the classroom is good for our students and good for Maryland. We encourage students and parents to continue asking for fresh, local produce in school lunches.
Farm-to-school supporters are gearing up to ask for it: State Reps. Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and Brian Clem (D-Salem) plan to introduce legislation in 2009 requesting that the state match a portion of the federal dollars if districts purchase Oregon foods. If the bill is enacted, the state would kick in as much as 15 cents for every lunch and 7 cents for every breakfast to purchase foods produced, packaged or processed in Oregon. The proposed legislation also would provide up to 150 grants for complementary food- and garden-based education, up to $10,000 a school year for each of two years.
Supporting Tierra Miguel also helps them develop their educational programs. It’s already engaging in Farm to School in San Diego, providing freshly picked produce to improve students’ diets and bring agro awareness through curriculum, fieldtrips and the building of an education garden where youngsters can learn firsthand how Mother Nature works her magic.
“Gilluly, who was handing out “I Love Eggs” stickers to students after the assembly, also recalled a student’s reaction to the fresh peaches brought in one day. The student had only had canned peaches before. “These aren’t peaches,” the student said.”—TheDay.com - State-Grown Food Program Takes Root In Norwich
This project is truly remarkable. This program has worked, directly to protect 9,000 acres of land, they have reclaimed a former shell fish farm (in coordination with Cornell University) and now manage the site sustainably and open it up to small scale aquaculture companies, they have a CSA, support farm to market, farm to school, and much more!
As a recent alternative to this situation, some school districts have developed salad bar programs that offer students the option of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. The assumption is that this not only reinforces life-long healthy eating habits, but improves their overall school performance. Sometimes these salad bars are an integrated component of a comprehensive Farm-to-School program that includes produce purchased from local farmers, visits to local farms, school gardening, cooking lessons, and enhanced nutrition education.
The program is part of a nationwide Farm-to-School program that began in 2000. More than 2,000 school districts have some facet of a farm-to-school program, though most do not provide full meals, only selective products or educational efforts.
We were just informed that Growing Home has been chosen as one of 25 organizations across the US to receive a Victory Against Hunger Award through the Congressional Hunger Center, National Farm to School Network, and Victory Wholesale Group.
“It’s about sustainability," Firquain said. "It’s what’s best for the kids and the environment. We want to become part of the school community and have the school become part of the local community. Before we ever introduce something healthy on the menu, they’ve tasted it, touched it, smelled it, know where it comes from.”—The Hays Daily News
Even beyond the natural beauty of Missoula is the hope all wrapped up in the people doing amazing work all over Montana. The people at the Missoula Urban Demonstration Project or Sustainable Living Systems, down in Victor. The people at the Pov—staff, volunteers, residents—or at Word or Farm to School or at any and all of the churches and temples across the state. There is so much goodness embedded here, in places we seldom look, beneath the surface of $700 billion dollar bailouts and elections and police reports and bottom lines. It’s baffling.
As Speaker, Merkley established the first “Farm to School” program in Oregon. In the U.S. Senate Merkley will continue to foster relationships between local buyers and local producers by protecting regulations at the USDA that allow states to build regional preferences for local growers.