FARM TO SCHOOL
The Noyo Food Forest is proud to be part of a movement that is changing the way kids eat. Farm-to-School Programs are growing around the country, bringing healthy local food into schools. Pilar Gray, Director of Nutrition Services for Fort Bragg Unified School District, explains how we’re making this work in Fort Bragg.
“Farm-to-School is also about bringing locally grown produce into our cafeterias and classrooms. It includes getting students involved in gardening. When students plant, tend, and harvest their own crops, they are far more likely to actually eat them!
There was a day, long before my time, when all school meals were cooked from scratch. Then, when school districts across the country were driven to cut costs anyway they could, they were forced to bring in pre-packaged, overly processed “foods” to save money. Encouraged and supported by a very powerful industry, this has made the unhealthiest foods the most affordable – to everyone, not just schools. We, as an educational institution, must do our part to undo this terrible turn of events. As educators we know that a child must be healthy in order to learn and live well. So, we’re working hard to go back where we started – back to cooking REAL food.”
The Noyo Food Forest is highly committed to making fresh, local, organic produce available to everyone in spite of socio-economic status, so they discount their prices for the school district. However, this does strain the organization financially, and it is very dependent upon the support of its volunteers and donations from the community.
Eating from the garden enables our students to really connect to the source of their food, encourages healthy eating habits, maximizes quality across the board, makes sense environmentally and supports our local economy.”