Start farm to school in your community

Integrating healthy food education into the school learning experience is something that any school or district can accomplish.  Through small steps, food education will help students better understand different types of fresh food, how and where fresh food is produced, and why eating fresh food is important. There are several ways to bring food education into the school. You will need a team of people (teacher, administrator, parents, school food service director, farmers, chefs, etc) working together to integrate all the activities and learning events to support school wellness and classroom education for healthy food. This list may help you think about ways you can start.

Taste Tests

Taste tests are a fun way to bring new foods into the school cafeteria! Offer taste tests to students when developing new menu items, and have students vote on their favorite recipes.  Involving students in the menu development process is a great way to ensure that new recipes will be well-received. For more information on developing a taste testing in the school, check out the links below:

  • See the Taste Test Guide for a sample timeline of conducting a school-wide taste test

Want to call someone? Reach out to Maggie Schabel at the Indiana Department of Education or anyone on the Indiana Farm to School Network team to discuss your ideas!

Food Day

Promoting a local food item during the month of October is a great way to celebrate National Farm to School Month and introduce students to a food they may never have tried before.  For ideas on how to celebrate, ways to get both the school and the greater community involved, healthy recipes, and more, check out the links below for past Food Day events in Indiana schools:

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. National Farm to School Month activities may involve taste tests in the cafeteria, nutrition education activities in the classroom, farm visits, farmer and chef visits to the school, and school garden harvest parties.  Each year, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities across the U.S. join in the celebrations.

It is never too early to start planning Farm to School Month celebrations for your community! Check out some of planning resources below and explore past Farm to School Month toolkits to see how communities around Indiana celebrate.

Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch

Held each year in October, the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch is a wonderful way for schools, early care sites, business campuses, hospitals, and others to celebrate local farmers and purchase Indiana-grown apples! Every year, thousands of participants across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio join in the celebration.  For more information, check out the links below:

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