F2S News: March 2012

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Over a half million students statewide offered farm-fresh, local food 

Schools serving over 558,000 students—or more than 68 percent of Minnesota’s K-12 student population—are now engaged in Farm to School according to research released by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the Minnesota School Nutrition Association. 

Participation in Farm to School has risen from fewer than 20 districts in 2006 to 145 districts serving nearly 900 schools in 2011. IATP estimates that $1.3 million of Farm to School foods were purchased by Minnesota school districts last year alone. Read more.

Sustainable meats beef up Farm to School menus

Apples are the "gateway food" for many schools when they begin Farm to School. But as their programs expand, a growing number are adding locally raised, sustainably produced meats to their roster of Farm to School foods.  That's the story with Hopkins School District and their partner, Thousand Hills Cattle Company in Cannon Falls, MN.  Check out this coverage from MPR to learn more: Read more.

Chefs bring a new perspective to school kitchens

A growing number of professional chefs are joining the ranks of venerable “lunch ladies” and tapping their culinary training to improve school lunch programs. The job is working out well for one Vermont chef, Maria Garrido: “It’s not fine dining; it may not be elegant, but we feed 5,500 a day,” Garrido said. “No matter what other crises there were or fires to put out, I can look back and say ‘I fed a child today.’ I know it sounds kind of cliche, but that sustains me.” Read more.

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