By Tori Parsons, RD, Texas A&M University Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD, Director of Community Outreach, CHEF
Celebrate the connection between local food and school nutrition during October’s National Farm to School Month! Farm to school programs are becoming increasingly popular across the United States, and for good reason.
- Farmers win: Farm to school programs provide major financial benefits for local farmers by providing more opportunities for them to sell their produce and market themselves to the community.
- Kids win: In addition to the increased access to nutritious, fresh produce in their school meals, farm to school programs also open the door to great learning opportunities in the areas of nutrition, agriculture, and cooking.
- Communities win: Farm to school programs encourage buying local, which strengthens the local economy and provides more job opportunities, while building relationships and increasing community engagement.
From students to parents to farmers, there are great ways for the entire community to be involved. Here are some ways you can join in the celebration with your community:
- Visit the local farmer’s market for seasonal produce
- Cook a new vegetable with your family this week
- Take a tour of a local farm and learn more about where your food is grown
- If your child’s school does not already, advocate for the start of a school garden
Check out more information about the National Farm to School Network and their mission, here. (http://www.farmtoschool.org/)