Farm to School Month spotlights efforts to get more local foods into Kentucky schoolsPosted on Oct 19, 2016
FRANKFORT (October 18, 2016) — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles encourages Kentucky school children to celebrate Farm to School Month in October and throughout the year.
“Linking up the efforts of our local producers with Kentucky’s children is an obvious advantage to both,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Students get fresh, nutritious local foods that will help them grow up to be strong, healthy adults, and producers get new markets for their products.”
One of the highlights of Farm to School Month will be at noon Oct. 21 with the “Southeast Crunch,” an event in Kentucky and five other states to encourage healthy eating and support local food purchasing initiatives such as Farm to School. Participants are invited to crunch into local apples at the stroke of noon and post their crunching on social media with the hashtags #KyCrunch and #F2Smonth.
The Farm to School program helps Kentucky school systems find and obtain foods from local farmers and small businesses. The program runs the annual Farm to School Junior Chef competition, in which high school cooking teams compete for scholarships and the coveted Junior Chef Trophy while learning cooking skills and gaining an appreciation for local foods. The program is administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Kentucky schools spent nearly $8.9 million in school food dollars on local food products in 2013-2014.
More than 700 schools in 77 Kentucky school districts had programs in place to buy local Kentucky foods for their school cafeterias, according to the 2015 Farm to School Census compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Many students take part in planting school gardens, visiting farms, and turning the cafeteria into a classroom.
For more information on the Farm to School program and Farm to School Month, go to the Farm to School page on the KDA’s website, kyagr.com, or contact Tina Garland at (502) 382-7505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the Southeast Crunch, go to growing-minds.org/southeast-crunch/.