Farm to school food

Over 2,000 school districts across the country are starting to replace unhealthy processed cafeteria food with fresher, healthier options for students.

This change has usually been brought about by a small group of concerned parents who questioned the nutritional value of the food in their children’s school cafeteria.

Many schools are receptive if parents are willing to do the research and make the connections to local and regional fresh food sources. When the parents present a proposal to the PTA – change happens!

Sometimes it is the local and regional farmers who provide the healthy food, and sometimes it is the schools themselves.  Alice Waters, the famed chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, began her Edible Schoolyard Project at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. The school has devoted one acre of its grounds to start an organic garden.  The students participate in all aspects of the planting, growing, harvesting and consuming.  It has become the model for school sustainability.  Alice Waters accomplished the same model at Yale University’s Berkeley College which has the only organic college cafeteria on campus thanks to the Yale Farm.

There are several noteworthy and established organizations working on students’ behalf.

Farm To School is a non-profit organization that connects K-12 schools and their local farms in order to bring healthy meals to schools, improve student nutrition and support local and regional farmers.

Revolution Foods delivers tasty and healthy meals as well as nutritional education to schools and programs across the country. The company was launched in 2006 by two women who met at business school. They had a shared vision of creating a social venture that would make daily nutritious and fresh lunches for students a reality.  Since 2006 their company has grown to providing nutritious meals to Northern and Southern California, Colorado and Washington, DC. It plans to keep expanding. Their motto is the headline of today’s article, “Make every bite matter”.