Farm Fresh to Local Schools
Nov 06, 2015 01:04PM ● Published by Bryan Scott
By Margaret Spencer
West Jordan - In schools all over the country, children are taught every day to make better choices when it comes to food, and to think more green. One of the ways the Jordan School District is approaching both of these topics is to coordinate with local farms to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables.
The farm to school program collaborates with both Salt Lake County and the school district to help schools connect with local farms to get fresh foods for school. With over 60 million lunches made yearly in the Salt Lake area, they try to keep the foods used as local has possible to help support local farmers and make less of an environmental imprint.
On Oct. 1, farm to school representatives came for a field day to Riverland Elementary. They set up the gym with many different centers for the children to visit and learn things about farms. Tagge’s, Schmidt’s and Cornaby’s, three of the local farms that work with the farm to school program, had representatives there, along with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to sample.
All the centers set up had a fun activity, ranging from which vegetable would float, to a salt vs. sugar test to a large mural for kids to color. The Utah Health Department had a center set up with a plate and pictures of food to pick from to put on the plate.
“This booth is about helping kids make a better balanced plate,” Jessica Maple, the UHD representative, said.
The children rushed around excitedly from one center to another other, sampling the fresh food and learning things about farms. They were shocked to learn that most farmers get up around 5 a.m. to take care of the farm.
A few animals from Utah National Meat came to visit the children, along with Athena, the goat from Wheeler Farm. Children clustered around, trying to pet them and talk to them.
Farm to school has been working with the school districts for nearly six years now, and they have been able to extend the amount of time they receive fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It’s all about connecting kids to their food source and teaching them to make better choices,” Jessica Trappmann, the Utah State Office of Education representative who works directly with farm to school, said.