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BCCS celebrates National Farm to School Month
Friday, October 1, 2021
October is Farm to School Month, and Brooklyn Center Community Schools is celebrating. At BCCS, the Farm to School program focuses on three areas:
- Cafeteria: We purchase seasonal, Minnesota grown foods to serve in our school meals
- Classroom: We partner with Gale Woods Farm to provide food and nutrition education in classrooms and in our school gardens
- Community: We help strengthen the local economy by purchasing locally and supporting Minnesota farmers. Students learn about food and agriculture in our community by taking field trips to local farms.
For Megan Grubb, Farm to School coordinator, this means ensuring that students have hands-on opportunities and access to nutritious options. “I’ve supported various clubs after school, including the BC Leadership Council,” Grubb said. “This group of high schoolers has shown an interest in nutrition and wellness and started a team Instagram account to highlight awesome Farm to School and nutrition services initiatives in our district. I’ve also run Garden Clubs after school and in the summer where kids get their hands in the dirt while they learn. I really like to partner with our STEAM coordinators to plan for outdoor experiences about biology, insects and wildlife, and more. Lastly, one of the coolest things we’ve done was coordinate the planting of a small orchard at our elementary school—students helped me plant trees that will bear fruit they can one day eat.”
As a community school, BCCS’ Farm to School programming opens the door to collaboration with community partners like the Three Rivers Park District. Through this partnership, students go on field trips where they learn about land stewardship, agriculture, wellness, and more.
On campus, Grubb finds ways to host events for students throughout the school year complete with taste tests, recipes, garden art, and more.
“I pop in and out of a wide variety of activities, and students in the garden or working with Megan and her partners are consistently engaged in learning,” said Renee Starr, community schools manager. “They’re out in the elements, moving around, working together—it’s really healthy, exciting and meaningful.”
This fall, the BCCS Farm to School program will host taste tests in all school cafeterias featuring local produce & culturally inclusive recipes. Students can also expect to find local foods integrated into their lunches. “We’re also hoping to utilize the garden space for garden clean up days and a community get-together next month,” said Grubb.
The BCCS Farm to School program is possible because of the USDA Farm to School grant. Click here to learn more about the USDA’s Farm to School Grants.