We have jumped into a new school year with both feet, optimistic that things are heading back to normal – or even better than normal. We are dreaming of a return to a robust school garden program, field trips, events, and more farm fresh food than ever. One of the best things about Farm to School is that it makes the connection between personal and community well-being. We want to continue to dig deep and find new ways to contribute to the common good, right here. Our focus on local food has been an important way to do this. This year we are expanding our efforts.
We took a leap of faith in April of 2020, and signed on to the Good Food Purchasing Program. This program aids large institutions (like school systems) in making purchases that reflect five values: local economies, health, valued workforce, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. A baseline assessment of our purchases from the prior two years showed that we are already doing well in the categories of “health” and “local economies.” The Center for Good Food Purchasing will be assisting us in creating goals and commitments to add even more value to our purchasing as we aim to direct more of our food dollars to farms and companies that contribute to the other values as well. We are in the beginnings of this process, and are the first institution in the southeast to sign on.
You can learn more about the program below. We are looking forward to sharing our progress with you!