Hilde and I just returned from the Fourth National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Portland, Oregon. I’m exhausted from the long flight! The conference was hosted by the Community Food Security Coalition and the National Farm to School Network and sponsored by a number of organizations- including Farm Aid!
There were nutritionists, food service supervisors, community organizers, policy makers and farmers from all over the US. People from Canada and Mexico also participated. It was great to hear about emerging and established farm to school programs from across the country.
I was blown away by the Rethinkers from New Orleans- a group of mostly middle school students who chose to “rethink” the issue of food in their schools. After thorough research, they held a press conference to announce their recommendations to the superintendent; the schools should start serving local food.
Great things are also happening in Chicago Public Schools- where Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality is bringing in regional food. These lucky students even get local veggies in the winter that were flash frozen right after harvest. Here’s a picture of me enjoying some of the colorful veggies! Yum!
There was lots of buzz at the conference about the Childhood Nutrition Reauthorization Act, which is due for action this year in Congress. To learn more about Farm to School Initiatives in the Childhood Nutrition Act check out the PDF, “Nourishing the Nation One Tray at a Time.”