How to Bring Farm Fresh Food to Your Kid’s School
Written by Mindy Pennybacker for www.wholeliving.com
If you are interested in bringing farm fresh food to your kid’s school and your child’s school district isn’t one of the more than 2,000 that are starting to replace processed cafeteria foods with fresher options, find other concerned parents, tap into the resources of www.farmtoschool.org and follow this plan laid out by Mindy Pennybacker for www.wholeliving.com.
Do Your Homework: Get a copy of your school district’s wellness policy and see whether your school is meeting its nutritional standards. No need to reinvent the wheel here. Just research existing farm to school programsm especially ones nearby.
Build a Team: Enlist teachers, the school principal, and the cafeteria manager, as allies. “Don’t get preachy,” says Kim Johnson who started the Hawaii farm-to-school educated program Aina in Schools with her husband, musician and green giant Jack Johnson. “You don’t want to come in and tell them that everything that they’ve been doing is wrong.” See if you can partner with local farmers, restaurants, health professionals, gardening programs and nonprofits.
Think Big, Start Small: Present a realistic plan to the PTA. You can’t accomplish everything in the first year. Start with a monthly healthy snack and move toward a weekly salad bar. Or plant a small garden on school grounds that teachers can work into science curriculum. “The idea is to just start something,” Johnson says.
Stay Positive: Remember, this is not about toppling the whole system – it’s about teamwork. “We can benefit the students, the school, and the local food producers if we all work together,” Johnson says.
Want to get things rolling in your school? Visit www.farmtoschool.org