Community Food News

Farm to School Lessons Learned: Better Food, Same Cost

Hemingford, Nebraska, public schools recently transitioned from a “warm and serve” to a “made from scratch” school lunch.
 
The change has been a hit with students and will likely have a positive impact on the school’s budget. School nurse Judy Stewart, a driving force behind the change, believes when final financial statements for kitchen operations come in, labor and food costs will be the same as before the transition, if not less.
 

Farm to School Continues to Build in Nebraska

“Healthy students learn better because they eat better,” stated Dr. John Skretta in Beatrice during the Center for Rural Affairs’ most recent Farm to School Regional Conference. Skretta, school administrator of Norris School District in Firth, NE, started off the conference on the Southeast Community College campus with a powerful keynote.

Dr. Skretta talked about the need for farm to school programs. He noted they take “all hands on deck,” from administrators to great food service staff, teachers, and parents. And it is well worth the integrated approach.

Hemingford: Made from Scratch

It started in Judy Stewart’s junior high health class. While discussing nutrition, Judy, Hemingford’s school nurse, heard lots of comments from students about wanting better, fresher food in the cafeteria. Judy is not the first educator to hear students complain about cafeteria food, but she recognized a valuable teaching moment and seized it.

Put Family Farmers Back into Farm to School

Farm to School programs appeared in the 90s with a three-way focus: fresh, local foods in schools; agriculture and nutrition education in classrooms; and purchases that support local family farms. Years since have seen these programs grow to include 40,000 schools and 23 million students.
 

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