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The Virginia Farm-to-School program promotes opportunities for schools, distributors and growers to work together to increase the volume of locally grown foods served in school cafeterias and dining halls at all levels of education. Benefits include fresh and nutritious meal options for Virginia students, community interest in Virginia Grown products and increased market opportunities for farmers. Students learn about the seasonality of food products, the importance of supporting local agriculture and the benefits associated with reducing transportation costs and protecting farmland.
Virginia was one of the first states to establish a Farm-to-School taskforce in 2007. In 2009, the first Virginia Farm-to-School Week took place.
For information on Virginia’s Farm-to-School program or to connect with local school, farms or distribution resources, please contact the Office of Food Distribution at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Virginia Farm to School Week 2017 was held during the week of October 2-6 to coincide with National Farm to School Month.
Schools and education centers were encouraged to “Make some Noise for Virginia Farm to School Programs” to recognize the importance of these programs in improving child nutrition, supporting local economies, and educating students about the origins of food. Virginia school divisions typically celebrate by featuring locally-procured foods on menus, organizing school garden parties, taking field trips to local family farms, hosting poster contests, inviting guest farmers to classrooms and cafeterias, and engaging in other related educational activities.
On October 4 at 10:00 a.m., many schools across the Commonwealth proudly supported Virginia Farm to School efforts by participating in The Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth, an event where all participants simultaneously took a bite out of a locally-grown apple. Click here for event details, toolkit, and free resources.
Program Manager, Food Distribution
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