Farm to School financially supports local farms and protects farmland by helping schools serve locally grown food while educating students about why local food is good for health, environment and economy.
As part of the AmeriCorps program, FoodCorps places service members in schools to help children develop lifelong healthy eating habits and an appreciation for healthy foods. Learn more about Groundwork's involvement here.
HARVEST OF THE MONTH
Harvest of the Month is a school program that develops and teaches lessons about one in-season fruit or vegetable each month, providing recipes and fun activities for kids and adults. Learn more about Harvest of the Month here.
FARM TO SCHOOL
Frequently Asked Questions
What does farm to school mean?
Farm to school is a name for a system in which schools purchase food from local farmers. The name highlights that direct connection and hints at the nutritional and economic value of the relationship.
How does farm to school help children?
Farm to school helps children in a number of ways. The most direct way is that locally grown food arrives at the school as fresh as possible, and that means it contains the greatest nutrient quality for children. Research has shown that food higher in nutrients can lead to better brain development and increased learning—upping the odds for brighter futures for kids. Healthier food also addresses head-on the dangerous diet-related childhood diseases the United States faces today—the kinds of diseases that threaten to bankrupt our medical system. Schools that have farm to school purchasing typically increase their food health education, aiming to instill healthy shopping, cooking, and eating habits throughout life.
How does farm to school help farmers?
When schools purchase directly from local farms, the farmers tap into a stable revenue stream that is most active during a typically lean time for farmers—the school year. Financial stability is essential for keeping farms in farming, and keeping their land beautiful and safe from development.
What is Groundwork's role in Farm to School?
Groundwork was an early advocate for farm to school purchasing in Michigan, and we trace our involvement back nearly two decades. At the dawn of the movement, we consulted with school food directors and superintendents and helped secure grants for early programs. We have also been instrumental in helping develop class curriculum, plant school gardens, and improve the cooking capacity of school kitchens, all with the intent of creating a broader healthy food culture in schools to create healthy lives while also supporting family farms.
Two of our highest profile Farm to School projects are FoodCorps and Harvest of the Month.
“Without Groundwork, we wouldn’t have FoodCorps service placement in our region. Students are learning about healthy food, where it comes from, and how to grow their own. The ripple effects of FoodCorps extend beyond the schools that the service members serve.”
— Lynne DeMoor, MS, RDN, Clinical Nutritionist at Health Department of Northwest Michigan