By G.M. Filisko
It was the underappreciated radish’s turn to be veg- etable of the month at the Broward County public schools, and Darlene Moppert proudly tells the story of a teacher calling her to pass on a delicious nugget of information. “One of the activities was for students to describe
their feelings when they ate the radish,” recalls the program manager of nutrition education and training at the
approximately 230 Broward County, Fla., schools (in the
Ft. Lauderdale area). “One first-grader said it was like ants
dancing on her tongue. We try to do things to make fruits
and vegetables seem fun.”
Moppert is among a growing crowd mixing up school
food choices to get students to eat healthier. It’s happening not just through school menus and education but
also by creating farm-to-school food programs through
which local schools purchase the harvests of local farmers.
“Farm-to-school means three things,” explains Anupama
Joshi, executive director and co-founder of the National
Farm to School Network in Cary, N.C. “It means local
and regional food procurement in food cafeterias. It also
Farm-to-school food programs
are important in changing
the health of children and
providing benefits to farmers.
means gardening activities in school, and third, it’s food
and farming education in the classroom. The trifecta of
these elements is important in changing the health of
children and providing benefits to farmers.”
Schools Savoring the
Effects of Healthier Food
Schools are cooking up healthier students and better
communities by beefing up their food options.
Photos courtesy of National Farm to School Network
Photo courtesy of Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network
Farmer Andy Ross picking beans near Mt. Vernon, Wash.