Our Farm to School Program
A leader in the growing Farm to School movement in Vermont, Food Connects’ Farm to School program supports educators, food service directors, farmers and community members in cultivating healthy farm and food connections in classrooms, cafeterias, and communities across Southern Vermont.
(If you are looking for our program options, click on the brochure to the right.)
Why Farm to School?
The local food system in Vermont is vibrant but it’s leaving many people behind. The statistics about the health of our children are striking. One in three children are on track to develop Type-2 diabetes. For the first time in American history, researchers estimate that children will live shorter lives than their parents. In Southern Vermont, where Food Connects works, 12.5 percent of population lives in poverty and 1 in 4 children are food insecure. Unless we do something to put this run-away food system back on track, we’re headed for the biggest and most expensive health care crisis we can imagine.
Sixty-thousand children in Vermont eat school food five days-a-week, getting more than half their calories from school lunch, school breakfast, and school snack. What we feed our kids in schools and what we teach them about food matters. It affects how they grow, how they learn, what they will feed their own families, and how long they will live. School is where it all begins.
Farm to School programs seek to address this need through three types of activities:
For schools seeking improved student behavior, engaged learners, healthy kids, and a thriving local economy, farm to school programs work to:
Students benefit from improved nutrition, and gain knowledge and skills they need to make lifelong healthy food choices. Farmers benefit from access to new markets through school sales.
Food Connects provides experienced consultants to help you navigate complex regulations, streamline operations, and customize solutions for your federal child nutrition programs. Our team provides technical assistance and professional development opportunities to build the capacity of your school kitchen, cafeteria, gardens, and classrooms. The food hubs we manage, Windham Farm & Food and Monadnock Menus, deliver local food direct from farms to your school. And, for those with the ability to travel to Brattleboro, our 2-acre organic teaching farm allows students to work with an experienced farmer on a diversified vegetable farm.
For more information, please contact Food Connects' Farm to School Program Manager, Katherine Jandernoa (Katherine@FoodConnects.org).