The Living Earth Center recently released its 2019 newsletter, Earth Almanac. Inside the Earth Almanac, Laura Peterson, Executive Director, discusses a national movement that is gaining strength called the Farm to School Movement. The first annual Living Earth Center picnic was held on Saturday, August 25, 2018. The Living Earth Center was celebrating their newly attained non-profit status, as well as a shortening of their name from CESRM to Living Earth Center.According to Laura, “Farm-to-School integrates core elements of allocating funds and resources for districts to expand curriculum to include education activities for students to learn about food, agriculture and nutrition; purchase, serve and promote local foods within their own cafeterias; and most importantly to provide opportunities for students to develop a stronger relationship with food by growing their own in school gardens.”

The Land Steward Project (LSP) is a nonprofit founded to, “Foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop healthy communities.” LSP of Minneapolis is currently organizing a number of producers and advocates in a campaign to encourage state legislators to pass a bill that would essentially create Minnesota’s own statewide Farm to School Program. The program would be part of Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture. The program would reimburse schools for their local food purchases and allow for the creation of support positions to help schools connect the program to local farmers.

“In joining the Land Steward Project in their support of a Farm to School Initiative, Living Earth Center advocates for a collaborative community effort to build stronger local communities by starting with food,” said Laura.

What can you do?

  1. Whether you are located in Minnesota or not, initiate and participate in a discussion with local school boards about incorporating more local foods into school cafeteria menus.
  2. Ask your school board about starting a school garden.
  3. Reach out to your local representatives to ask for their support for a statewide Farm to School initiative. If you do not live in Minnesota, there may be similar programs in your area. Look into those programs and see how you can help.

Find a list of other events at the Living Earth Center.

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