Celebrating Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between children and local food. Vermont FEED, our farm to school partnership project with NOFA-VT, is working to connect the 3C’s of farm to school—cafeteria, classroom, and community—throughout the state. Here are some of the highlights from the month:
Vermont School Leader Campaign
Four out of five Vermont schools have some aspect of farm to school underway. A school might be buying local foods, taking field trips to local farms, or maintaining school gardens—and that’s just a few examples of how schools are connecting the cafeteria, community, and classroom. Most of these activities are coordinated at the school level by dedicated staff and volunteers. But what happens as districts consolidate and more and more impactful decisions are made at a supervisory level? The Vermont Farm to School Network has begun a statewide effort to inform school leaders about the importance and impact of school nutrition programs and farm to school. Want to get involved? You can find the Advocate’s Toolkit, resources, and a training webinar on the Vermont Farm to School Network website.
How Do We Feed Vermont’s School Children?
Vermont schools serve meals to more than 50,000 Vermont students, with an investment of $50.3 million annually. $15.5 million of that money is spent on food alone. Vermont FEED published an updated look into the state’s school meal programs. How Do We Feed Vermont’s School Children? explains the surprisingly complex systems behind the meals on students’ cafeteria trays and how farm to school programming can improve them. You can read and download the booklet for free here.
Senator Leahy Celebrates Farm to School Month in St. Albans Town
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy visited the St. Albans Town Education Center to celebrate National Farm to School month and announced $300,000 of USDA grants for Franklin, Grand Isle, Caledonia and Orange counties in Vermont to expand Farm to School programming. Students cooked and served garden-grown snacks for the Senator and other special guests, including Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food & Markets Anson Tebbets, Commissioner of Health Dr. Mark Levine, staff representing U.S. Congressman Peter Welch and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and local farmers. Read the full story.