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Georgia Farm to School program extends beyond cafeteria.

Over the past few years, countless schools across the United States have begun utilizing Farm-to-School programs and approaches to incorporate more healthy, fresh produce into their school lunches, as well as participate in environmentally-sound practices that support local fanners and their communities.

The Georgia Department of Education created their Farm to School Initiative years ago, reported mysouthwestga.com, but it's grown more and more recently as more organizations have come together to support the goals of the program.

But this isn't your average healthy-eating endeavor, says the department's Assistant Director of Communications Dorie Nolt. Rather than just focusing on teaching students the benefits of eating more fresh fruits and veggies, the state's program incorporates as many lessons as they can into their farm to plate program.

"It's sort of a three-pronged approach," Nolt told the news site. "It's not only nutrition, it's also curriculum and science and helping children understand where their food comes from, why agriculture is so important to the Georgia economy and hopefully inspiring the next generation of the Georgia agricultural leaders."

Georgia public school students are learning about planting and cultivating crops, as well as coming to understand the value in sustainable produce farming and healthy eating. There is increased discussion of creating gardens on campuses too, which may be more manageable thanks to the HealthierUS Schools Challenge grants awarded to 170 schools in the state in recognition of their Farm to School programs.

Source: mysouthwestga.com, 4/1/13

Consider the ways your school community could use an on-campus garden to propel your science, social studies and health curricula to new heights!

RELATED ARTICLE: HealtherUS Schools Challenge

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

Learn more about the certification and accompanying grant opportunities at http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/healthierUS/index.html.

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Title Annotation:Tools for Schools
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2013
Words:335
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