Sunday, August 14, 2011

Farm to School Program Does your school or district participate?

When you look at your local schools can you remember the last time you were in the local school cafeteria? Eaten in one lately? Do you know if and/or how your state is participating in the Farm to School program?


Recently, one of the local news stations (WRDW) featured a story on Healthier eating options for Richmond County School System students. What I find ironic is that according to the Georgia FFA page, "Georgia FFA is the 3rd largest state association with more than 31,000 members. There are 285 chapters and more than 400 agricultural education teachers in Georgia" but when I inquire as to the participation (or lack of) in the Farm to School program only 2 districts and 99 schools in the state of Georgia are participating? 



The GA Farm to School Profile page states, "Georgia is the 6th largest producer of vegetables in the U.S., yet our children rank as the 3rd most obese and overweight".  The CDC Obesity and Overweight site provides a map with obesity rates from 1985-2010 and tools where one can view the statistics for their county.

Today, when more organizations are collaborating for success in education, business, health, welfare or within local communities I wonder why the connection between the FFA and the Farm to School program isn't encouraged, particularly by those who want to gripe and groan about budget cuts rather than recommending possible solutions.


While Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution brought attention to American school lunch programs, he has been educating and helping people make healthy decisions longer than most people in the US are aware, as one can see on his global foundation sites: JamieOliver.com UKAustraliaNederlandUS . Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution site has one page with the latest news from people who are participating in a personal Food Revolution at home, to schools, to districts making a difference. His site also has tools for individuals, schools, teachers, and school districts.


This post allows me to ask those questions that have been previously asked but have gone unanswered or ignored. As another school year starts and budget issues continue in the normal operations...what are you doing to make a difference?


Does your school participate in the Farm to School program? Are students in your district participating in their version of a Food Revolution? How does your state, county, city rate in the CDC Overweight and Obesity trends?


OK...I'll jump off of the 20 questions soap box.
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