October is National Farm to School Month! This month celebrates the connections between children and local foods and farms and highlights the schools, local farms, and communities that work together to serve fresh, locally grown ingredients in school cafeterias.
Farm to School benefits everyone –students, farmers, and communities! The farm to school movement has been celebrated all over the country, and more than 23 million students participate in farm to school activities year-round. Join in on the celebration this year as we shine a spotlight on Farm to School!
What can you do to celebrate this month?
- Encourage your school to plan nutrition-themed activities. Hands-on learning through gardening, crafts, taste tests, or farm visits can be a fun way to celebrate this month. For example, having a taste test of locally-grown produce such as turnips, pears, or different varieties of squash can introduce new foods and tastes to students. This gives students the opportunity to describe the size, color, smell, and texture of various produce. Be creative and interactive while learning about new and fresh produce!
- Spread the word about Farm to School Month! Join in on the conversation, and share your ideas, pictures, and activities on social media by using the hashtags #F2SMonth and #farmtoschool.
- Visit local farms and farmers’ markets. Buy an ingredient you’ve never tried before and find seasonal produce to incorporate into your cooking! This is a great way to meet with farmers and learn more about how your food is grown.
What are the benefits of buying and eating local foods?
- Support your local farmers and build a community. By choosing local foods, you are making an investment in the economy of your community. It also allows you to make connections with your local growers, so you know where and how your food was grown.
- Help the environment. Buying local reduces the distance the food has to travel which may help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution. Strive for sustainability!
For more information and resources, visit the National Farm to School Network website.