On November 4th the Farm & Sea to School Conference held in Leominster MA successfully offered a wealth of ideas and resources to get schools involved with local farms and fishermen, as well as contacts to provide local produce and seafood school cafeterias! The morning began with encouraging statistics in the opening remarks from Rob Leshin, Director for the Office of Food & Nutrition Programs at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) who reported that Massachusetts ranks 9th in the country for farm to school programs and 68% of schools already have a farm and sea to school program in their cafeteria.
During the conference, two successful program models were highlighted. Through these examples, several ways to implement a farm-to-school programs were explored!
- Somerville Public School District utilizes a community supported agriculture, CSA, program with Drumlin Farm, located in Lincoln, MA, which provides Somerville Public Schools with fresh produce every week for their school salad bar!
- The produce received by the school is only what is harvested during each season.
- Drumlin Farm benefits from the money received from the CSA program.
- This year, Somerville Public Schools added field trips to the farm and in-class lessons to help children develop a closer relationship with their school.
- Grow Food North Hampton serves the North Hampton community through their Red Bag program
.Check out the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Farm and Sea to School Conference web page for more information. You can find additional resources in the Going Green category of the JSI Resource Center and our Farm to School – Supporting Local Agriculture blog