October is National Farm to School Month! Throughout the month, our Farm to School and Community Education team will be sharing information about the importance of Farm to School and ways to get involved.
We are proud to support and carry out the mission of the National Farm to School Network in the state of Rhode Island. Our team is dedicated to increasing access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities. We envision a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, environment, economy and communities.
We promote materials highlighting a Harvest of the Month and the local growers involved in producing that harvest — for use in classrooms and school cafeterias. Through these campaigns, we connect school food purchasers with local farmers to help meet cafeteria nutrition needs with fresh, local produce during peak harvest season.
This year’s Harvest of the Month included a correlating educational campaign, Community Roots, to help teach students about local agriculture and our farmers, with activities and content broken down by grade level and supporting school subjects. This equipped educators with additional guidance for focusing learning opportunities on their immediate neighborhood and the producers located nearby.
So far this year, our Farm to School and Community Education team has led several in-school and after-school programs — with classes geared for students ranging from preschool through high school. For these hands-on workshops, we focus education on gardening, locally grown food, and the benefits of participating in the local food community.