Nine-year-old Olivia is a cancer survivor and she is on a mission to find out, What is Real Food? She takes us to the Farmer’s Market and to her school. The video has been entered in a “Real Food is” video contest for the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. It’s all about getting fresh, locally-grown food into schools. Learn more at farmtoschool.org
“With school districts constantly feeling their budgets squeezed, the expense of using locally-grown product rather than USDA commodity isn’t an issue, Groskopf said. “Everyone has their own opinion about that, but I think for the most part it pretty much balances out when you look at the cost of a meal and how you do your overall menu planning,” he said. “Sure, if you’re using roasted red potatoes as opposed to commodity donated tater tots, there’s definitely additional costs involved, but we can make the numbers work.”—Foodservice News: The News and Information source for restaurant and hospitality business in the Midwest
f you have neither the time, inclination, space, nor money to grow food at home, consider lobbying for a Farm to School program as described in Cooking Up a Story’s conversation with Marion Kalb (Farm To School: A Conversation with Marion Kalb) or exploring the programs and data at kidsgardening.org.
nother great benefit would of course be expanded local options for Farm-to-School programs, especially in states where the school year and the growing seasons are for the most part mutually exclusive -
So let’s review. Our nation’s fruit-and-vegetable basket is extremely vulnerable to drought—and as a matter of course is wiping out a once-vibrant coastal ecosystem. Moreover, after produce is harvested there, it gets hauled in gas-guzzling refrigerated trucks to points across the continent—often right past farmland perfectly suited to fruit and veg production.
“Regulating what kids can eat or drink at school is a safety issue, akin to protecting them from polluted air or other hazards, said Kelly Brownell, a nutrition specialist at Yale University who has testified before Congress on the need for higher standards. “The food in schools is making kids sick,” he said.”—Healthy School Food | Chef Ann Cooper : Renegade Lunch Lady
“At a hearing before a Ways and Means subcommittee, backers brought forward a true school-lunch expert - second-grader Zoe Kane. “I eat school lunch every day,” Kane said, “so I am an expert in school lunch.”—Backers laud benefits of farm-to-school bill
Also, Michigan Department of Agriculture recently released a “Buying Local – Approved Food Sources for Food Establishments” fact sheet. The fact sheet is attached and available at the Michigan Farm to School website.
To make it easier for school lunch programs to connect with local economies, the Oregon Legislature in 2007 created the Farm to School program. More legislation, which would build on this program by allocating lottery money to schools to help them enrich their food programs with good locally grown food while supporting local economies, is under consideration.
“Oklahoma had the highest growth in direct farm sales in the nation from 2002 to 2007, a whopping 209%! Second came Oregon with 163% growth. Venues for direct farm sales include farmers’ markets, roadside stands, CSAs, pick-your-own sites, online sales, the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, and farm-to-school programs. Basically, anything where the farmer is selling directly to the customer without a middleman.”—Red State Green » Blog Archive » We’re number one!
Thank you to everyone who attended this week’s hearings to support state Farm to School bills SB 1027 and HB 1840 relating to the establishment of an interagency farm-to-school coordination task force. Although the bills are currently still in committe they may be tracked via: www.capitol.state.tx.us
“I just heard about a cool program called Farm to School that basically does the CSA thing for the food served in school cafeterias. They connect local farmers with local schools so the kids are given healthier, fresh food and the farmers are supported by a big client. Since Cleo will start kindergarten next year (gulp) this is an idea that really appeals to me. I think it is brilliant! It doesn’t look like there are programs here in Utah yet but I contacted them today and I’ll find out the details.”—scarcity and abundance: Combatting Shelf Reliance
“You get a face, you get a place, you get the name of a farm," says Schreiber. "Farmers’ markets can be a medium for contact and, ultimately, sales of local foods to schools. A farmers’ market is a platform to smell, taste, and identify foods from local farms. School districts can get information about what foods are available, make a transaction, and build upon the relationship with local growers.”—Bend Weekly News for Bend Oregon