Sprouting Healthy Kids is Sustainable Food Center's farm-to-school and food systems education project. Sprouting Healthy Kids includes three main components: locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables served in school cafeterias, classroom lessons designed to introduce students to healthy food and food systems, and a hands-on afterschool gardening and cooking program.
SFC works closely with school food agency administrators to incorporate locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables into school menus. We assist districts in identifying cost-effective local food options, recommend menu items that feature seasonal foods, and consult on the bidding, contracting, and purchasing processes.
We work with our network of local farmers and with school food service staff to promote the availability of locally grown foods in school cafeterias with posters, signs, and other outreach materials. Farmers also assist in the educational aspects of the project by sharing their farm stories and photos at "Meet the Farmer" cafeteria visits. SFC also promotes local foods by coordinating veggie sampling days at schools, where students have the opportunity to try new or unfamiliar fruits and vegetables during lunchtime.
These efforts improve access among students to fresh, healthy foods, encourage consumption of fresh and nutritious foods among students, and can strengthen the sustainability of local farms by providing an additional sales outlet.