NEW YORK, October 1, 2019 – The Urban School Food Alliance (Alliance), a coalition of the largest school districts in the United States, celebrates National Farm to School Month this October and National School Lunch Week from Oct. 14-18, 2019.
National Farm to School Month celebrates food education, school gardens, healthy lunchrooms and local and sustainable ingredients. Throughout the month, member districts of the Alliance will host the following activities in their lunchrooms and classrooms:
- Highlight seasonal produce during breakfast and lunch
- Perform chef cooking demonstrations at school sites with seasonal ingredients
- Host local farmers visits to educate students about local, fresh food items and farming innovations
- Offer fresh and healthy recipes ideas for families to enjoy at home
Last year, the Alliance collectively set a goal to increase their local food purchase by five percent by the 2021-2022 school year. The goal aims to work with local food producers to stimulate local economies, while providing the freshest, highest quality foods possible for the health and wellness of students. The Alliance’s local food purchasing effort will support and inform state and federal policies that champion farm-to-school efforts, with the goal of reducing carbon footprint when it comes to sourcing school food. The 10 districts currently procures $95 million in local food items annually.
National School Lunch Week, recognizes the importance of a healthy school lunch in a child’s life. Nearly 30 million students are served healthy lunches every school day. That equals to five billion lunches annually!
The Urban School Food Alliance believes that providing access to fresh, healthy, delicious food to children is key to their health and academic success. The group encourages lawmakers to continue to support the standards set by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) passed by Congress in 2010 to ensure the health and wellness of students and to combat childhood obesity. These regulations include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables as well as foods low in sodium, sugar and fat.
About the Urban School Food Alliance
The Urban School Food Alliance was created by school food professionals in 2012 to address the unique needs of the nation’s largest school districts. The nonprofit group allows the districts to share best practices and leverage their purchasing power to continue to drive quality up and costs down while incorporating sound environmental practices. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade, Orange County (Orlando), Broward County (Fort Lauderdale), Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston together offer service to nearly 3.3 million children daily. This translates to more than 584 million meals a year. The coalition aims to ensure that all public school students across the nation receive healthy, nutritious meals through socially responsible practices. To learn more about the Urban School Food Alliance or to support its work, please visit www.urbanschoolfoodalliance.org.