The mission of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to support family farms and student health around the country, and Florida Impact to End Hunger is excited to have been awarded one of their 2020 planning grants so that we can bring local produce to students at Fort Braden Elementary School in Tallahassee.
We’ve named our project Farm to Leon County Schools and refer to our work at Fort Braden Elementary School as “Farm to Fort”.
Our partnerships with Leon County Schools, Red Hills Small Farm Alliance, Florida A&M University, University of Florida IFAS Leon Extension, Fort Braden Elementary School, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the American Heart Association, and the Fort Braden community has given us the knowledge and resources for planning a holistic project.
During the planning process, we have connected with teachers, administrators, food service staff, and students to better understand current practices and even learn about vegetables everyone would like to eat at school. We’ve learned that students who are engaged in learning about fresh, healthy diets are more open to trying new and different foods. Therefore, as a part of our plan, students will be familiarized with seasonal produce in the classroom and locally sourced produce in the cafeteria.
In 2021, students will get a chance to taste local produce sourced from Red Hills Small Farm Alliance farmers. They will also get to vote if they “like it!” or if they “tried it!”. With this grant opportunity from the USDA, we can ensure these students have the opportunity to enjoy locally-sourced, fresh food.
Donations to Florida Impact to End Hunger towards this project will guarantee students at Fort Braden Elementary School will have a chance to learn about their nearby farms and gain exposure to fresh, local food. So if you are looking to make a real difference this holiday season, please consider donating to Florida Impact to End Hunger to support Farm to Leon County Schools at Fort Braden Elementary!