C-U Public Health District, Sola Gratia Farm, and Urbana School District are working together to launch the CU Farm to School program with the help of a USDA Farm to School Planning Grant.
The project will be developed with input from the school staff, students, and parents, as well as the broader community, including local producers. From the press release:
Developing a Farm to School program in Urbana schools presents many possibilities for improving the health and learning experiences of students. Making locally-grown foods available in school meals improves their nutritional content and taste, and reduces their environmental impact. Providing agricultural education opportunities to students opens new potential career pathways and offers a unique direction for exploring traditional school topics such as math and science. The Farm to School Coordinating Team plans to tailor this Farm to School project to the needs and desires of students and staff. This could include building new school gardens or expanding on existing gardens, developing in-school or after-school agriculture classes, bringing farmers and other agricultural professionals to visit schools, or serving locally-grown foods in school cafeterias. After piloting the project in Urbana schools, the Coordinating Team hopes to expand to involve Champaign Unit 4 School District as well.
Top photo from CU Farm to School Facebook page.