Do you know what your children are eating for lunch at school today? Do you know where it came from? On average, two of every three school children eat a National School Lunch Program lunch and consume about one-third of their total calories from that meal each weekday. Unfortunately, that food travels over 2500 miles to get to them.
In 2010, Congress designated October as National Farm to School Month, which demonstrates the growing importance of Farm to School programs as a means to improve child nutrition, foster local farming and ranching opportunities, spur job growth, create local economic development and educate children about agriculture and the origins of food.
To celebrate the first National Farm to School Month, schools across the country will be inviting farmers and chefs to visit their school during October. Whether you are a food service professional, teacher, parent, farmer or rancher there are plenty of ways to celebrate Farm to School Month, visit farmtoschoolmonth.org to find out more.
In the last several years many schools have established a farm to school program by collaborating with staff, parents and local farmers. In 2010, more than 2,000 schools spanning all 50 states had a farm to school program. If the school in your community isn’t already involved in a Farm to School effort, visit http://www.cfra.org/renewrural/farm toschool to find out how you can help get there. Our children are worth every penny we invest in ensuring they eat fresh, nutritious food whenever possible.
Elisha Smith, Center for Rural Affairs