Maryland Farm-to-School Program
Homegrown School Lunch Week — September 19-23, 2016
“Farm to School” is a term which strives to bring locally produced foods into school cafeterias; hands-on learning activities such as farm visits, producers visiting schools, school gardening; and culinary classes; and the integration of food-related education into the standards-based classroom curriculum. Farm to school includes of all types of producers and food businesses including farmers and waterman as well as food processors, manufacturers, and distributors.
Maryland schools spent $18 million on local food served in schools according a recent USDA Farm to School Census. Maryland was the first state in the nation to have every public school system participate in the Maryland Homegrown School Lunch, an element of the Maryland Farm to School program.
In Maryland, there are more than 2 million acres in farmland and more than 12,000 farms. More than 70 million lunches and 24 million breakfasts are served in Maryland schools annually. Maryland Farm to School is not the federally funded Childhood Nutrition Programs but locally sourced Maryland foods can be a part of the Breakfast, School Lunch, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Summer Meals, Maryland Meals for Achievement, etc.