Another summer has sailed by and children across the metro have all settled into their new classrooms. Yes, it is hard to believe it’s October, and for those of us at KC Healthy Kids and for area schools that participate in our Farm to School Program, October, is also Farm to School month.
National Farm to School month celebrates children gaining access to locally grown farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and now is the perfect time to show your support.
What is Farm to School? Farm to School is the trifecta of programs by; 1) opening new markets to farmers across the area as they sell their farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to area schools, 2) increases access of freshly grown produce to children’s school menu, and 3) benefits the local economy.
Our Farm to School Academy can help you get started. The program engages school staff and faculty, district stakeholders, parents and students in activities that increase awareness of our local food system and generate excitement about the possibilities for bringing fresher, local food to schools.
You can establish a new farm to school project, expand your schools existing program, or have fun at home celebrating National Farm to School month. Contact Rachel McGinnis Millsap, KC Healthy Kids, Farm to School Program Director at email@example.com to sign your classroom up for the Farm to School program.
Here are a few ideas from the Farm to School Network:
- Plan nutrition education activities and feature a local food product that is in season.
- Connect instructional school gardens and garden-based learning activities to the curriculum. You can download KC Healthy Kids’ free Grow a Garden Classroom comprehensive toolkit. It provides you with everything you need to know about creating a schoolyard garden, including tips and ideas to make your schoolyard garden a success. Get the Guide
- Organize a farm tour or trip to the local farmers market. Don’t have time to visit a farm? Our videos bring the farm to your classroom. Watch the Videos
- Promote National Farm to School Month on the school menu and in the cafeteria and sign up for a new food taste testing through KC Healthy Kids Farm to School program.
- Invite a classroom at your school to take a field trip through the school kitchen.
- Consider new recipes that are culturally appropriate and relevant to the communities you serve.
- Consider a seasonally, cycling menu that would allow you to scale up/down local food as it is available.
- Create a farm to school salad bar using local produce.
- Visit your local farmers market and buy something you’ve never tried before, cook it and share with your family and friends.
- Cook with seasonal products as much as possible.
- Volunteer at your local school to support a school garden or classroom educational activity.
And don’t forget to share with us how you are celebrating National Farm to School Month!
For more information, logos, posters, please visit farmtoschool.org.