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Celebrate National Farm to School Month

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Overview

Teacher Handing Out VegetablesOctober is National Farm to School Month – a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food and farms. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classrooms, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, join the celebration!

10 Ways to Celebrate National Farm to School Month

  1. Give the Garden Some Love: Is anything growing in your school garden? Plan a harvest day celebration or garden clean-up day to prepare the garden for winter.
  2. Connect with a Local Farm: Take a field trip to a nearby farm or ask a farmer to present to your class about what it’s like to live and work on a farm.
  3. Get Fresh at the Farmer’s Market: Is there a farmer’s market in your community? Take a field trip to the market or encourage families to go to the market and post a photo of their purchases on social media using the hashtag #NationalFarmToSchoolMonth.
  4. Get Artsy with Local Food: Ask students to bring in local produce to make food art in the classroom or as part of art class.
  5. Try Something New: Feature a new local menu item for school breakfast or lunch. Host a taste test of the new item so students can try it.
  6. Celebrate Food Day: Many communities celebrate Food Day in October where fresh, local food is celebrated. Connect with your community to learn how your school can participate in Food Day festivities. Some states even provide guides to schools to help identify opportunities to participate.
  7. Bring Together the Family: Host a Farm-to-School themed family night to educate the whole family on healthy, local food.
  8. Do a Demo: Ask a local organization to do a cooking demonstration during the lunch period, or ask family and consumer science students to host it. Are there simple recipes that could later be featured on the school lunch menu?
  9. Connect to the Curriculum: Teach a lesson or two during the month as part of your celebration. Check out the USDA’s list of free farm-to-school curriculum offerings.
  10. Host a Competition: Pick a theme and host a student writing or art competition. Invite local farmers, dietitians and other food experts to be guest judges.

Tips

Ask a local business to donate items for a school garden and—even better!—to recruit some of their employees to volunteer alongside parents to create the garden beds.

Reach out to parents for volunteers to chop fruits and vegetables for a taste test.

Ask high school students to provide demonstrations/activities for younger students to earn community service hours.