October is reserved to raise awareness about the National Farm to School network! Farm to School programs enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools. The initiative began in 2010 to encourage nutrition and healthier habits amongst children. These programs can be found in all 50 states purchasing and distributing local foods, educating students with activities and workshops and creating school gardens. Children are able to learn about agriculture and gain exposure to nutritious fruits and vegetables that were once inaccessible. The economy and environment are also benefitting from the programs! By buying local foods, the community is putting money back into it’s own economy. The community’s carbon footprint is reduced because less groceries are purchased from large food organizations.
Farm to School allows for communities to work together to help not only their health, but their economy, environment and education. Their website has a number of different online resources and a blog featuring interesting stories. At MANNA, we advocate for proper nutrition because we believe that Food is Medicine. Many of our clients are impacted by a lack of access to healthy foods in addition to needing proper nutrition to fight their diseases, so we are happy to support an initiative that helps with both issues. Learn about the initiatives happening in the Philadelphia area here.