October is the First Annual Farm to School Month
Oct 06, 2011 07:23PM
● By Anonymous
In fact, it’s right on the cover of every copy of What’s Up? Annapolis and What’s Up? Eastern Shore.
So it should come as no surprise that we think the national campaign, Farm to School, is a terrific idea. And so do our fellow Marylanders. We are the only state in the country in which all of its public school systems have participated in the program, according to the National Farm to School Network. The program also had the support of more than 30 different Maryland farms providing fresh product to the schools. It is true example of a successful federal, state, local and private collaboration that is working.
Here’s what Farm to School is all about: Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.
Here’s what the Maryland Department of Agriculture tells us: “In Maryland, more than 70 million lunches and 24 million breakfasts are served in our public school systems annually. What if just one local item was included in the school lunch of all the 950,000 Maryland public school students? Farmers would have additional income, thereby strengthening the local economy and keeping farm land open and productive. Our children would receive the nutritional benefits of fresh, local products as well as the knowledge of why this matters. Also, the financial, environmental, and nutritional costs of transporting food would decrease. We encourage students and parents to continue asking for fresh, local produce in school lunches.”
Check out farmtoschoolmonth.org, or Maryland’s Farm to School Facebook page-