Farm to School program provides multiple benefits

Farm to School program provides multiple benefits

Leila Aboussir

Using healthier ingredients in school lunches gives students an easy way to start having better nutrition in their daily lives.

Kelly Dwyer, staff writer

Farm to School, a new lunch program used at school this year, provides the school with everything from apples to turkey, along with promoting healthy eating habits in students, supporting local farms, and helping to rebuild the local economy.

While the program, which was piloted at the end of last year, is still fairly new to the school, it is something that cafeteria manager Lynn Lynch plans on continuing. “I’m excited about the Farm to School program because it has benefits for our students, farmers, and communities,” said Ms. Lynch.

Ms. Lynch tested this program at the end of last year because she thought there could be problems, like with any new program. There are still a few problems that are still being worked out. “There were definitely a few kinks in the program, like getting our orders all filled and the deliveries don’t always come in on time,” said Ms. Lynch.

Using healthier ingredients in school lunches gives students an easy way to start having better nutrition in their daily lives. “One of the benefits in using Farm to School is being able to serve healthy meals in the school cafeteria, by using fresh ingredients,” said Ms. Lynch.

Another benefit of this new program is the help it provides to the local farmers. “We work with the Southeast Minnesota Food Network, which is a partnership of 80 farms in southeast Minnesota,” said Ms. Lynch.

Using Farm to School is more expensive; however, with all its benefits, the cost isn’t a reason to stop using the program. “Farm to School costs more because of the quantities we get and we have to pay a delivery charge,” said Ms. Lynch.

The local farms provide food for everyday use and for use in some main dishes. “One of the main things we get from local farms is tomatoes, and we get whatever is in season,” said Ms. Lynch.

Farm to School even provides foods for big school events. “The turkey that we are going to use for our Thanksgiving dinner will come from local farmers,” said Ms. Lynch.