Farm to School
The MMSD Farm to School Project is a partnership between REAP Food Group and the MMSD Food and Nutrition Department. The goal is to increase the amount of locally-grown, fresh foods in MMSD lunches and provide nutritional and agricultural education for students and staff. MMSD and REAP have worked together on Farm to School for over a decade and have secured grants providing funds for programming, equipment and local food. A USDA Farm to School Grant spurred the creation of the MMSD Farm to School Project! Look for these exciting programs in your school:
Garden bars expose students to a daily array of nutritious fruit and vegetable options. Research shows that when students are given options, they eat more fruits and vegetables and waste less food. REAP and MMSD have worked to install garden bars in schools for three years. Twenty-nine schools have garden bars as a part of the daily lunch service.
Local Produce at Lunch
The MMSD Farm to School Project provides fresh locally-grown produce items in school lunch. Local items include apples, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and more. Local items are fresh from our farm partners, all grown within 150 miles of Madison. Look for local items on our menus and check out our Farm to School videos.
Farm to School (F2S) Month - October
In celebration of National Farm to School Month, REAP and MMSD work together to provide several local farm to school options in the lunches. Local items are served on Garden Bars and included in elementary and secondary menus. Farm to School Month activities include participation in statewide and regional efforts such as the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch, where schools across the Great Lakes region will crunch into local apples in October of each year.
Summer Food Programs
REAP and MMSD work together to take advantage of the bountiful Wisconsin summer harvest by serving locally-grown veggies as part of the Summer Food Program. The SFP offers free meals throughout the summer to children at more than 50 sites. REAP Food Group staff, AmeriCorps members and volunteers provide educational materials and activities to complement the local items in the lunches.