The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, in partnership with the Vermont Farm to School Network, recently announced the recipients of the 2013 Farm to School grants at a special ceremony at the statehouse cafeteria.
The Vermont Farm to School grant program is in its seventh year and works to improve kids' diets by linking local producers and schools. The grant program encourages schools to engage students in their local food system by incorporating local food and farm education in their cafeterias, classrooms and communities.
This year, grants were awarded to eight schools. Five are implementation grants and three are planning grants. Schools who received grants in 2012 were on hand with displays demonstrating how the money had made an impact on their school and the important role the grants played in bringing more local foods to their cafeteria while making connections with local farmers.
"Just knowing that food grows and doesn't just come from a package is a lesson that will stay with us for a lifetime," said Isabelle Moody, a sophomore at Mount Abraham High School in Bristol.
"It is wonderful to hear that students understand Farm to School is not just about healthy food, but also about economic development for our farmers. That is when we know they're connecting the dots between the educational, nutritional, and economic aspects of the program," said Jolinda LaClair, deputy secretary at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.
The Vermont Farm to School grant program is administered through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture in partnership with the Agency of Education, Department of Health and the VT FEED (Food Education Every Day). Planning and implementation grants applications are accepted by Vermont schools each fall, with awards granted in January.
2013 Farm to School Grant Recipients
Berlin Elementary School
Isle La Motte Elementary
Milton Elementary and Middle Schools
St. Albans City School
Chittenden Central Supervisory Union
Washington South Supervisory Union
The Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. Visit www.vermontagriculture.com