National Farm to School Month: Highlighting producers’ impact on nutrition

When you think of a child’s school day, teachers might come to mind first, but the School Nutrition Association explains the important role farmers play in our education system as we celebrate National Farm to School Month.

“There have always been very strong ties between the national school lunch and school breakfast programs and our agricultural community. These programs were directly linked by Congress and the Administration to support America’s farmers. We’ve got the USDA food programs that provide 15 to 20 percent of the food served with school lunches, and that’s all American-grown foods. Thanks to Buy American requirements, the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs have been a great way to support our growers and ranchers throughout the country,” said Dianne Pratt Hevner, School Nutrition Association Media Relations Director.

Dianne Pratt Hevner says the farm-to-school movement has gained momentum over the last decade with schools buying a variety of foods from their local communities.

“It’s all over the map. We have heard of schools sourcing the very traditional fruits and vegetables, apples, Florida and California have access to citrus, but we’ve heard of all kinds of fruits and vegetables being sourced through local growers. I’ve heard of schools utilizing locally-raised honey, and we have heard a lot of school meal programs working with local ranchers to bring in locally-raised beef.”

During Farm to School Month, schools across the nation invite farmers into the classroom to give kids a first-hand look at how their food is grown.