Page 20

Farm-to School-Programs

A school district reaches out to local farmers; a farmer adopts practices to accommodate food distributor Farm-to-school programs have been popping up in school districts across the state over the last few years. The effort has been led by food service directors wanting to provide healthier food choices for their students. What they have found is that participation in school lunches increases, great connections are made within the community, and the whole process is much easier and more rewarding than anyone would have imagined. Tom Freitas, Dining Services Supervisor for the Sandusky City School District started his program several years ago by simply sending out a letter to local farmers. Dave Mulvin, from nearby Mulvin Farms, responded and began a collaborative relationship providing farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to the district’s nine schools. The family farm, in operation for almost forty-five years, grows the tomatoes, squash, and sweet corn featured on the seasonal lunch menu. Dave has even custom grown watermelons for the cafeteria salad bars. Thanks to Mulvin Farms’ connections, Tom has also been able to locate apples and other locally grown specialty produce. Tom and Dave work together to provide educational information— bookmarks and table toppers—to share

information about the produce and the farm. This marketing information has been a great way to get the Mulvin Farm name out in the community.

for Red Basket Farm to participate in a farm-to-school program with the South Euclid School District and AVI, the school district’s contracted food service provider. The fresh lettuce greens and other s s s colorful fruits and vegetables used in The Red Basket Farm in Kinsthe chef-prepared meals challenge the man, Ohio has been producing qualkids to make healthy and delicious ity produce since 2002. In addition to choices. Floyd works closely with the the many acres in vegetable producstaff at the six participating schools by tion, farmer Floyd Davis has recently providing educational materials and constructed several new high tunnel hosting field trips to the farm so the greenhouses to extend his growing kids can learn about where their food season. This has created the opportunity comes from. s


Ohio's Specialty Crops: A Boost to Food Service Menus  
Ohio's Specialty Crops: A Boost to Food Service Menus  

Ohio’s Specialty Crops: A Boost to Food Service Menus is intended to be a resource for specialty-crop producers (individually or producers w...