Bistro Kids Farm 2 School Program - Bringing Healthy, Locally Grown Food to the Next Generation
The Bistro Kids Farm 2 School lunch program provided up to 480 charter school students with a week of healthy school lunches from local farmers, and supplied nutrition education about sustainable agriculture through a Good Food Fair. Grant funds were used to: purchase locally sourced, organic, all natural foods; subsidize the cost of meals to all students; supply chefs to prepare and serve meals; provide support staff, supplies and materials for lunch service; provide support staff, supplies, and materials for Good Food Fair; supply marketing materials for school and families; supply milk mustache pictures to participating students; and record program highlights through videotaping.
The results of the project include almost 2500 students being fed, including 785 free and reduced lunches. This exposure to students, parents, and staff along with local food purchases, provided farmers and food producers with a viable market for their products. We learned that growth in the Farm 2 School arena can provide farmers and food producers with increased sales opportunities. With an overwhelmingly positive response from participants, this younger generation is anxious to learn about where good food comes from and the benefits of eating organic, locally and regionally grown foods.
WORK PLAN FOR 2010
A successful work plan includes implementation of the Bistro Kids Farm 2 School lunch program in participating pilot schools; continued use of Good Natured Family Farm products; hands on cooking classes for all students; nutrition education as it relates to sustainability; putting a garden in the school; expanding recycling and composting programs; and promoting long term healthy eating habits with an emphasis on fresh, whole and sustainably grown foods from local sources.
The Farm 2 School lunch week ended with a Good Food Fair for 480 students and 60 staff. The Good Food Fair was a fun filled educational event that reinforced the importance of sustainable agriculture through the consumption of locally grown foods. Through various activities and taste test opportunities, meetings with local retailers and food producers the format allowed the students to become familiar with good food. Participants included: New Grass Bison, Anthony’s Beehive, Prairie Land Dairy, Chestnut Charlie, Cowgirl Kate, Buy Fresh Buy Local, Hen House Markets, Balls Price Choppers, Good Natured Family Farms, and Bistro Kids.
A video was compiled highlighting the project’s activities. This will serve as a marketing tool for perspective schools. A Bistro Kids cookbook was provided to each classroom and staff and student surveys were conducted orally and via a written format. This information will be shared this year and next, via community outreach to partnering organizations.