When children learn about where their food comes from, they are more likely to try new healthy foods and make better food choices as they grow into adulthood.
Farm to School programs not only improve the nutritional quality of meals served in the lunchroom, but also teach kids to become more food-savvy in the classroom and at home. Kids will often eat more healthy foods when they’re locally sourced because fresher food tastes better and kids know where it’s coming from. Plus, fresher foods retain more nutrients, giving kids an added health benefit. During National Farm to School Month this October, I encourage you to help us advance these important programs in communities across the state.
Learn More About Farm to School
LiveWell Colorado recently developed a Colorado Farm to School Primer, a broad overview of farm to school strategies designed to educate and inspire readers to learn more about how they can become part of the movement to bring healthier foods to Colorado school children while enhancing Colorado’s local and farm economies.
The Colorado Farm to School Primer demonstrates how Colorado schools can increase the use of fresh and local foods, discusses how some Colorado schools are managing common concerns and addresses the ways in which the community at large can get involved in making Farm to School successful in Colorado. It also introduces a variety of educational programs that coincide with Farm to School, such as farm tours, cooking classes and demonstrations, school gardens and youth farmers’ markets, among others.
During National Farm to School Month and beyond, I encourage you to utilize the Primer as a tool to advance Farm to School in your community. The National Farm to School Network has also recommended a series of actions that any community member can take:
- Invite a local farmer, chef or food service staff member into your classroom or cafeteria to present an activity or talk to students.
- Visit your local farmers’ market, buy and cook something new, then share it with family and friends.
- Volunteer at your local school to support a school garden or classroom activity.
- Invite your city council representative, mayor, state legislators, Congressional Representative or U.S. Senator to Farm to School activities in your community.
- Promote the month with Farm to School Month printed materials, media pitches and enewsletters.
- Post tweets (with the hashtag #F2SMonth) and status updates about Farm to School Month to raise awareness and promote specific events.
National Farm to School Month materials, such as posters, logos and sample text for written materials, can be found at the National Farm to School Month website.
Make a Difference
As Congress considers the 2012 reauthorization of the Farm Bill, it is vital that we elevate Farm to School as a valuable, critical investment for our communities and our kids. I encourage you to get involved in Farm to School today to help our kids have a healthier tomorrow.