Schools celebrate National Farm to School Month with a crunch heard across Nebraska

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Sandra Renner, project specialist,, 402.320.3444; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

Lyons, Nebraska - The Center for Rural Affairs is promoting National Farm to School Month in October with activities to encourage healthy eating and to connect children with local food.

One highlighted event is the Midwest Great Apple Crunch at noon on Thursday, Oct. 12, in schools across Nebraska. Students and staff will participate by “crunching” into apples at the same time.

“The important thing is that students crunch and learn about local foods,” said Sandra Renner, Center for Rural Affairs project specialist. “The goal is to educate about how apples are grown, harvested, and how the fruit arrives at their school from a local orchard or distributor.”

The “crunch” may also be caused in other ways.

“Additional local food purchasing initiatives may be celebrated by students taking a bite of menu items other than apples, such as carrots, spinach, or meats,” Renner said. “The activity isn’t just for students, either. Farmers, community members, and even police officers have joined us during Apple Crunches in 2015 and 2016.”

In Nebraska, 29 percent of schools report participating in farm to school activities, including sourcing food locally, growing food in a school garden, and learning about food and agriculture in the classroom. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, numbers include 71 districts, 458 schools, and 188,637 students. An additional 13 percent of Nebraska schools plan to start farm to school activities in the future.

National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.

To get involved or to learn more about the Midwest Great Apple Crunch and National Farm to School Month, visit, or contact Sandra Renner at or 402.320.3444.

Center for Rural Affairs and Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska are supporting partners of Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services who leads farm to school efforts in Nebraska.