Across the country kids are reaping the benefits and heading back to school with local foods on their plates.
October is National Farm to School Month. Programs are kicking off to improve student health and strengthen communities. Since 2016, farm to school month has been held to grow awareness and assist schools in activities leading to larger local foods programs.
To get started with their own programs, schools can incorporate small amounts of local foods into meals. Nebraska has an initiative that urges schools to serve a locally-sourced meal in cafeterias on the first Thursday of each month. This benefits schools and keeps local economies strong. In the U.S., every dollar spent on farm to school activities generates $0.60 to $2.16 in economic activity.
On Oct. 24, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will compete in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Regional Crunch Off. By registering, schools have a chance to record the number of crunches into local fruits and vegetables. The state with the most crunches will win the Mountain Plains Region Competition.
The crunch off is a great way to begin your farm to school activities. An excellent local food to utilize is apples; they’re abundant, in-season, and easy to incorporate into school meals. Connect now with local schools to promote healthy eating and locally-produced foods. You can learn more on our website at cfra.org/f2.