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What School Lunches Have to Do With Fixing Wealth Inequality

What School Lunches Have to Do With Fixing Wealth Inequality

Photo: Photo by Steve Debenport/Getty Images 

Dismantling a capitalist food system could begin with schools, which nationwide spend about $3 billion on food contracts.

Once a year, Russell Farms in Brackney, Pennsylvania, hosts a harvest celebration, where students from nearby Tioga Central School District in New York state get to visit, talk to farmers and pick apples from the farm’s 12  varieties.

“It’s a great day because the kids can make the connection and see where their food is grown,” says Julie Raway, a registered dietitian for 15 New York school districts. And they are excited when the same fruit they sampled shows up in their cafeteria at school.

Russell Farms sells apples to local school districts as part of a Farm to School initiative—a growing national movement that aims to create equity and redistribute wealth in the food system by reinvesting part of it in small, regional farms.

Anupama Joshi, co-founder of the North Carolina-based Farm to School Network, believes that if we are going to fix the food system in this country, we need to start with our schools.

As executive director of the network, Joshi has been rethinking the way we bring food into school lunchrooms and about how we feed students. Her collaboration with a broad cohort of organizations nationwide, including the districts that Raway works with in New York, serve not only to connect school children with local farms while creating jobs in the community, but also to keep local dollars local through things like on-campus gardens and farm-fresh meals.

“Part of fixing the broken system is changing the culture of food in our communities,” Joshi says. READ MORE

 

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6 hours ago

Today is Family Literacy Day and this year's theme is: Learning in the Great Outdoors 🌱🍓🌳🏵️How perfect! Last fall we celebrated all the ways that farm to school is grounded in land-based learning. We have seen the healthy impacts of outdoor classrooms and we encourage hands-on-learning as part of the school curriculum! bit.ly/34iYnsgHow do YOU learn in the great outdoors?Check out resources and activities with Life Literacy Canada: abclifeliteracy.ca/all-programs/family-literacy-day/@abclifeliteracy #farm2school #landbasedlearning #outdoorclassrooms #handsonlearning ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

It has been 5 years since the launch of the Farm to School Canada Grant program. Incredibly, that program has now afforded more than 53,000 students in 133 schools right across Canada an opportunity to feast on healthy local foods at school.One of most important aspects of the grant program continues to be it's FLEXIBILITY, underpinned by the understanding that a cookie cutter approach to school food is NOT going to work in Canada. To close the distance between children, their food and their land, in this vast country with it’s diverse ecosystems and its multicoloured tapestry of people and food culture, the program needs to meet children, schools, and whole communities where they were at. It also needs to be developed, and driven by the community - the school and the local food system community.Today, if you visit any of these schools you will likely see a whole lot more than a salad bar. School greenhouses, gardens, farms, smoke houses, root cellars, kitchens, and/or dining areas are commonplace in recipient schools. And in these places, often the heartbeat of the school, you will likely see dozens of excited children happily digging in.I suppose this is why I am thrilled to see that F2CC and WKF have put out another call for proposals. Up to $10,000 per school is available. If your school has a vision, partners, and a plan, please send in a proposal. Deadline January 31, 2022. www.farmtocafeteriacanada.ca/our-work/farm-to-school-grants/ ... See MoreSee Less
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