October is for celebrating Farm to School programming across Rhode Island, thanks to an official proclamation signed in 2017 by Governor Gina Raimondo. This statewide proclamation is in alignment with National Farm to School Month, designated by Congress in 2010 as an annual celebration of food education, school gardens, and lunch trays filled with nutritious, local ingredients.
“I am so pleased to celebrate Rhode Island Farm to School Month. Connecting kids to healthful, local food while also supporting our local agriculture and food economy is a win-win for the State,” said Rhode Island’s Program Director for Food Strategy, Sue AnderBois. “This work is just part of the fabric of who Rhode Island is. A big thank you to Farm Fresh Rhode Island, our schools, and so many other partners who work so hard to make these initiatives successful.”
RI Schools Celebrate with a Great Apple Crunch
To celebrate Farm to School Month, schools across the state are hosting events to bring awareness to Farm to School work in Rhode Island and highlight the connection between local farmers, eaters, and food literacy. Smithfield Public Schools are collaborating with Chartwells food service company to gear up for a “Great Apple Crunch,” a day-long celebration of RI-grown apples — with apple cider and other apple recipes available to taste, a “meet and greet” with the farmers from Jaswell’s Farm in Smithfield and Steere Orchard in Greenville, plus games and information provided by our Farm to School team.
The Great Apple Crunch is meant to be a statewide celebration that everyone can participate in. Districts and schools can participate by purchasing and serving RI-grown apples in their meal programs and by bringing together students, faculty, and staff to “crunch” into local apples together as a way to bring awareness to fresh, local produce.
Tools & Resources For Celebrating National Farm to School Month
If a day-long celebration isn’t on the menu, schools and districts can also offer cafeteria taste tests of local produce, farm field trips, in-class lessons about eating with the seasons, garden education, and other activities that may seem small, but have a significant impact on children. Farm Fresh RI has resources and support available for hosting these types of activities in schools.
- Get Farm to School Month news and resources at farmfreshri.org/farmtoschool.
- Follow RI Farm to School on Facebook and Instagram @RIfarmtoschool.
- Download the National Farm to School Month Celebration Toolkit. (pdf)
- Sign up for our seasonal Harvest of the Month newsletter.
“Farm to school empowers kids to make informed food choices, provides opportunities for farmers, and builds community,” said Stephanie Bush, Farm to Community Program Director at Farm Fresh Rhode Island. “Through Farm to School programs, young people taste for themselves that nutritious, fresh foods can be delicious and community members are engaged with hands-on activities—while in the process, the local economy is strengthened by helping local farmers gain greater access to institutional markets.”