FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM
We are committed to working closely with our farming partners to buy and serve local fruits and vegetables to our students with over 75 percent of our produce grown within the state of Florida. Our farming partners dedicate acres of their land to grow the products we require for the district’s nutrition program. In 2017, farmers in Ocala County grew over 12,000 watermelons just for the students of Duval County Public Schools.
Not only does this partnership continue the farm-to-table trend, it’s an opportunity to introduce kids to a wide variety of fresh, new foods and flavors, while also benefitting the farmers and the entire community.
Through our ‘Get to Know the Grower’ program, we bring our local farmers into the classroom to educate students about food, nutrition, agriculture and environmental stewardship. Our goal is to familiarize children with healthy foods and introduce fruits and vegetables at an early age, as well as show how buying local food is a great way to get fresh produce and connect with our community. We want to empower children and their families to make more informed food choices to lead healthy, well-rounded lives.
Benefits of Farm to School
Duval County Public Schools Nutrition Program is dedicated to farm to school due to its many benefits, including the following:
- Local produce is fresher from the field to the plate and therefore retains greater nutrients and flavor.
- Farm to School produce has been shown to increase children’s willingness to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Local food circulates money within the community and supports our local economy.
- Farm to School supports jobs in Florida.
- Decreasing the distance food travels from farm to plate reduces fuel emissions, a more environmentally responsible choice, helping keep our air clean.
- Farm to School helps educate students about the origins of our food.
- Supporting local farms protects and enhances Florida farmland.
- Local area farmland increases food security in our region in the event of natural or other emergencies. An interdependent local food system ensures continued access to fresh foods.
- School gardens teach students how plants grow and where food comes from and are shown to increase kids’ acceptance of fruits and vegetables.
Our Florida Farm PartnersNon-GMO | Organic Fertilizers