In the Schools – Seed to Tray 2018-02-23T14:33:17+00:00

In the Schools — Seed to Tray

Growing and Sharing

Fresh, local food

The goal of the Farm to School program is to serve the freshest local produce in school meals, while teaching students about the connection between growing healthy food and growing healthy bodies.

Now in its fourth year, the program provides diverse learning – and eating – opportunities! You can discover which school dishes feature local produce each week by clicking the dish on the online menu. You can find recipes for home use on our recipes page.

Local Salads

throughout the growing season

We are fortunate that our local growing season corresponds almost perfectly with the school year. Between mid-October and the end of April, every salad in Alachua County schools contains lettuce and/or kale grown in the county. During the warmer months, local cucumbers and green peppers are included as well.

In addition to food purchased from local farms, school gardens at 15 schools are producing salad fixings and collard greens for school lunches.

Salad made with local tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce

Our Programs

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Harvest of the Month

Harvest of the Month

Each month a different local product is highlighted and served on the lunch line. Elementary school students choosing the product receive a trading card with information about the farm where it grew and nutritional information about the fruit or vegetable offered. During SY2016-17, students were offered Florida peaches, muscadine grapes, persimmons, blueberries, blood oranges, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tri-colored green beans, and white potatoes from regional farms.

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Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Students at thirteen schools are eligible for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables program. This program offers children a fruit or vegetable snack every day, introducing them to a variety of fruits and vegetables in an effort to combat obesity. We are working with local farms to include regional produce in the offerings.

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On Point Food Truck

On Point Food Truck

Our food truck delivers fresh food, custom-made, to district high school students. The food truck offers the farm to school program the opportunity to try out new products on a small scale. Since it started making its run over the summer of 2017, it has served up sweet potato oven fries, white potato wedges, yard long beans in an Asian noodle bowl, and local yellow squash in an attractive, fun package.

By the Numbers

The Reach of the Farm to School Program During School Year 2016-17
(We are doubling in size in 2017-18!)

Approximately 20% of produce served in school lunches was grown on Florida Farms.
12,250 pounds of produce were received from local farms and packaged at the Farm to School to Work Hub.
The Hub produced over 4,000 pounds of produce in the field for use in school lunches and taste tests.
The GET greenhouse produced over 1,000 pounds of lettuce and cucumbers for school salads.
School gardens grew 1,750 pounds of vegetables for school lunches.
GET students at the Hub grew and packaged seeds for school gardens -- including peas, broccoli, arugula, dill, and cilantro.
GET students grew from seed and cared for over 5,000 plants for school gardens.
13,000 students were offered locally grown food every week as part of the school lunch program.

Link to Studies

UF Plate Waste Study

Farm to School program proving its wealth in health: “Results showed students at schools with a FTS program ate 37% more vegetables than the average student consumed before their school adopted the program. In addition, the children consumed 11% more fruit.”

School Garden Research

“USDA supports school gardens as a proven tactic for improving children’s attitudes and consumption of produce, and for incorporating experiential nutrition and agriculture education into school curriculum.”