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Press Releases

October 2, 2023
October 2-6 is Virginia Farm to School Week
Contact: Michael Wallace

Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Joseph Guthrie are encouraging schools, businesses, and communities across the Commonwealth to recognize the importance of the state’s farm to school program by celebrating Virginia Farm to School Week, October 2-6.

The Virginia Farm to School program increases access to fresh, healthy, Virginia grown food while providing hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of educational settings. Across Virginia, schools and community sponsors of federal child nutrition programs help to provide nutritious food, support local farms, and educate students about healthy eating, agriculture, and the environment.

"School divisions are implementing farm to school strategies that include local procurement, school gardens, farm visits, and cooking demonstrations,” Superintendent Coons said. “Virginia students are enjoying fresh locally grown foods while learning about good nutrition and the importance of family farming and agriculture to our communities and the commonwealth. Supporting student health and Virginia’s agriculture economy is a win-win."

During Farm to School Week, Virginians will make some noise for local farm to school programs by joining in the annual Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth on Thursday, October 5. This social media promotion features Virginians taking a bite out of a Virginia Grown apple and sharing their images and videos using the hashtags #VACrunch and #VAFarmtoSchool. Virginia Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr and VDACS Commissioner Guthrie will also share Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth videos on social media on Oct. 5.

“I am looking forward to participating in the Crunch Heard Round the Commonwealth, as it helps to increase awareness of the Virginia Farm to School program. Farm to School activities promote the importance of local agriculture, improve student nutrition and health, and raise public awareness of food and farming," said VDACS Commissioner Joseph Guthrie.

According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 125 school divisions in the commonwealth have active Farm to School programs. Additional information about celebrating Virginia Farm to School Week and the Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth, including accessing the free digital promotional materials, is available on the VDOE website.

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