Farm to School
December 12, 2010
While it seems like a straightforward concept, Farm to School programs are more diverse than you might think. Schools across the country have used Farm to School programs to:
- Provide local fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats in school lunches
- Offer local food snacks during the school day
- Plant a school garden
- Bring farmers into the classroom to talk about food and farming
- Integrate local food into nutrition education
- Take field trips to farms so students learn where their food comes from
- Engage students in recipe contests, taste tests, and so much more!
Farm to School programs provide wins all around:
- Farmers benefit from a new, dependable market
- Students benefit from access to fresh, healthy food and hands-on nutrition education
- Schools benefit from increased participation in school lunch programs
- Local economies benefit from dollars circulated within the community
- We all benefit by instilling students with healthy eating habits now
To help schools start and grow Farm to School programs, MFAI and the Wisconsin Heart Association co-led a broad coalition effort that led to the passage of the Farm to School bill in April 2010. The bill had strong bipartisan support as both sides of the aisle saw the myriad benefits to Farm to School programs.
But it takes more than a bill to support side wide Farm to School efforts in Wisconsin; it needs to be funded, too! MFAI works with partners all over the state, from farmers to public health advocates to economic development researchers, to make sure schools and farmers will have the resources they need to start Farm to School programs.
If you would like to be a supporter of Farm to School programs in Wisconsin, please visit our collaborative campaign Make Farm to School Happen!