The school season is right around hi the corner and you might already be shopping for clothes and gear for the upcoming school year. This week, as we get ready for back to school, we’re taking a look at some efforts to bring healthier eating into the cafeteria and the classroom. In particular, we’re taking a look at the National Farm to School Network, and the farm to school movement. This post is the first in a series that we are working on to update our nonprofit partner stories. As you know, our Shop for a Cause Program is near and dear to our heart. Our nonprofit partners are inspiring and we’d like to share their stories with you, so that you can learn more about them and consider supporting them through us and independently by donating directly on their website.
Farm to school is a movement that addresses complex issues ranging from urban nutrition to rural poverty with a simple solution — bringing schools and local farms together. As the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) explains on their website, their strength is their network. They serve as a hub for communities, schools, universities, government, and other organizations that are working to bring more healthy, local food to schools.
Starting with a handful of schools in the 1990s, the farm to school movement has grown to include over 40,000 schools that have implemented farm to school practices. The National Farm to School Network was launched in 2007 to serve as an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education into school systems and preschools. This is great news for parents because, as they expand, it’s more likely that your kids will attend a school that has implemented farm to school practices.
We love the farm to school movement because it aligns with our core values at Modern Kids Design. Many people who are familiar with buying organic and all natural foods know that buying food locally reduces our carbon footprint from transporting goods to market. This is especially true for produce, and anyone who uses some elements of the macrobiotic diet knows that locally grown foods have additional health benefits beyond nutrition. One well-known example is local honey, which can help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms.
The farm to school movement is more than local food in the cafeteria. The best farm to school programs include an educational component. Lessons in the classroom and trips to local farms are combined with hands-on learning at participating schools that have gardens. All of these activities help jump start healthy eating habits at an early age.
The National Farm to School Network is committed to making sure farmers also reap the benefits of the farm to school movement. They provide farmers access to institutional markets and the local community benefits from a more stable agricultural economy. It’s a win-win-win situation for the schools, the farmers, and most importantly, the students.
Again, we’re proud to support the National Farm to School Network and their efforts to further the farm to school movement. So, check out Shop for a Cause at Modern Kids Design and when you shop with us, consider choosing The National Farm to School Network. A portion of your purchase will be donated to help bring more healthy, local food to our schools this year. Thanks for reading and, as always, feel free to share your thoughts by email or by leaving a comment.