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Press Releases

October 6, 2020
October 5-9 is Virginia Farm to School Week
Contact: Michael Wallace

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane is encouraging schools, businesses and communities across the commonwealth to celebrate Virginia Farm to School Week, October 5-9.

All Virginians are encouraged to make some noise for local farm-to-school programs by celebrating the fourth annual Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth on Wednesday, October 7. The social media promotion features Virginians taking a bite out of a Virginia Grown apple and sharing their images and videos.

“While COVID-19 will prevent many school communities for celebrating Virginia Farm to School Week in person this year, everyone can capture the crunch of a delicious Virginia apple and share in the fun on social media,” Lane said. Both Lane and Secretary of Education Atif Qarni will participate virtually in the Crunch Heard 'Round the Commonwealth by sharing videos on social media.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh will virtually visit Jackson Davis Elementary School in Henrico County on October 7. During the virtual visit, they will read to first-grade students and lead them in the Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth.

“This is a great opportunity to connect the commonwealth’s great agricultural resources with another great resource — our students,” Bronaugh said. “Farm-to-school programs improve student nutrition and health, raise public awareness about food and farming, and strengthen community relationships.”

Participants are encouraged to use the hashtags #farmtoschool and #VACrunch, and to share their posts with the Virginia Department of Education’s Office of School Nutrition Programs via @VDOESNP.

The Virginia Farm to School Network, formed in 2018, connects schools with local food producers to purchase fresh, healthy foods for school cafeterias, preschools and summer feeding programs while enhancing educational opportunities in school gardens, classrooms and cafeterias.

Additional information about celebrating Virginia Farm to School Week and the Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth can be found on VDOE’s School Nutrition webpage. School divisions interested in joining the Virginia Farm to School Network should contact Trista Grigsby, VDOE Office of School Nutrition Programs Farm to School Specialist at Trista.grigsby@doe.virginia.gov or phone 804.225.2331.

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