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Celebrate Farm to School Month with Minnesota foods

Gov. Tim Walz has proclaimed October as Minnesota Farm to School Month, according to a press release. During the month, Minnesotans are encouraged to celebrate connections between students and local food, share the state’s farm to school stories, and express gratitude for school nutrition professionals and farmers providing essential services to feed children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As students across the state participate in a variety of in-person, distance learning and hybrid school settings, school nutrition professionals continue to provide students with food while supporting Minnesota farmers, which lifts the local economy, the release stated.

“When our schools serve Minnesota kids locally grown food, it’s a win for everybody,” said Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “Kids eat healthier, small farms have local buyers and our agricultural economy benefits. I’m proud that Minnesota is a national leader in Farm to School.”

Farm to School programs create connections between schools and farmers, according to the release. Through the relationships, schools can provide fresh food to students, as well as educational opportunities for nutrition and wellness and hands-on learning experiences with school gardens.

“Healthy meals help our students focus on learning,” said Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. “Through Farm to School programs, students get the nourishment they need with the bonus of opportunities to learn about where their food is produced. Thank you to our school nutrition teams and farmers for working together to support Minnesota’s students.”

What Farm to School means varies within the diverse communities throughout the state. Some schools purchase apples and dairy products from area growers and farmers, while others may serve wild rice from a local tribal community.