Original source: Clark County Public Health

Farm to School iconClark County Public Health received a two-year, $100,000 grant from the United Stated Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program to fund a project that will connect Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) students with more regionally sourced food products and food system education. The grant takes effect Dec. 1.

Through this project, public health staff will engage key partners to identify regionally-produced food sources and establish farm-to-school connections. Clark County/Washington State University Extension will develop a farm to fork curriculum and host “farm field” trips for elementary students under the grant . Field trips to the 78th Street Heritage Farm will teach children about the connection between farms, food and health.

“We are very excited to have this opportunity to partner with Vancouver Public Schools and WSU Extension to support local agriculture, engage students in hands-on learning, and improve their access to healthy, regional food,” said Alan Melnick, health officer and director of Clark County Public Health.

“VPS Nutrition Services offers delicious, nutrient-dense meals to students to help them develop life-long healthy eating habits. This grant will help us to incorporate even more healthy, regionally-produced food in our menus and will provide a valuable educational experience for our students,” said Mari Ovens, VPS director of Nutrition Services.

USDA Farm to School Census results indicate schools across the nation have invested nearly $600 million in local products, ensuring a significant and reliable market for local farmers and ranchers. For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov.