Rockbrook Elementary's "farm-to-school" program teaches students where their food comes from

Posted at 4:46 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 22:49:31-05

We've hear the phrase "farm -to-table."

It's big for foodies, especially in restaurants.

But now learning about local consumption is getting elementary. 

It's called farm to school. 

It's lunchtime at Rockbrook Elementary in the Westside School District, and it's taco day.

Like many days, the focus isn't just about getting through the lunch line or even choosing healthy options. 

It's about knowing where their food comes from. 

“We have a couple of specific farmers that we deal with, one that we get the melons from, one we get the apples from," Erin Vik, Nutritional Services Director.

"And then we have a couple of co-ops where we deal with a large number of farmers that procure some of the greens and squashes and whatnot."

The 'farm-to-school' concept goes far beyond the cafeteria, instructors are also integrating the ideas of that into curriculum in the classroom.

“A student council might have come down and we procured different produce for them so every day the student council members would take whatever that item is to the classes," Vik said. 

Many schools have taken on school garden clubs.

At Rockbrook Elementary, a garden club is just the start. 

“Not only the study of how communities work together in social studies, but how those local farmers are able to provide that food and meet that need within the school lunch program, as well as to support curricular activities like we hosted, you'd also see it in science and the way that plants grow and knowing the way that foods are consumed," Vik added. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Forty-two percent of u.s. schools are participating in some sort of farm-to-school effort. That's 23.6 million students.