Virginians are encouraged this week to make some noise for Virginia Farm to School Week.
The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that 125 Virginia school divisions have active Farm to School programs.
The program increases access to fresh, healthy, Virginia-grown food while providing hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of educational settings. Schools and community sponsors of federal child nutrition programs help to provide nutritious food, support local farms and educate students about healthy eating, agriculture and the environment.
“School divisions are implementing farm to school strategies that include local procurement, school gardens, farm visits, and cooking demonstrations,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons said. “Virginia students are enjoying fresh locally grown foods while learning about good nutrition and the importance of family farming and agriculture to our communities and the commonwealth. Supporting student health and Virginia’s agriculture economy is a win-win.”
The annual Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth, a social media promotion featuring Virginians taking bites of Virginia-grown apples and sharing images and videos, will be held Thursday, October 5. Participants are encouraged to use hashtags #VACrunch and #VAFarmtoSchool.
Virginia Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Joseph Guthrie will also share videos on social media on Oct. 5.
“I am looking forward to participating in the Crunch Heard Round the Commonwealth, as it helps to increase awareness of the Virginia Farm to School program. Farm to School activities promote the importance of local agriculture, improve student nutrition and health, and raise public awareness of food and farming,” Guthrie said.