Support National Farm to School Network with Organic Valley Purchases
From 8/14/19 – 9/3/19, Organic Valley will be donating $1 from every Organic Valley purchase at food co-ops (Up to $15,000).
Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers, believes in the importance of educating youth about agriculture and farming practices. So, this back to school season, Organic Valley, and Co+opportunity along with food co-ops across the country have teamed up with National Farm to School Network, a non-profit organization working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens and food and agriculture education into schools, early care centers and other education settings to raise money and giveaway three school gardens nationwide!
The Organic Valley purchases you make at Co+opportunity during this time frame will also help toward the opportunity for a local school to win a National Farm to School Network garden.
National Farm to School Network (launched by a collaborative of more than 30 organizations in 2007) is an information, advocacy, and networking hub for communities working to increase access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities. National Farm to School Network provides vision, leadership and support at the state, regional and national levels to connect and expand the farm to school movement, which has grown from a handful of schools in the late 1990s to approximately 42,000 schools (~42% of U.S. schools) in all 50 states as of 2014.
Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
Implementation of farm to school differs by location, but always includes at least one of the following:
Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening; and
Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition.
Kids, farmers, and communities all win! Farm to school provides all kids access to nutritious, high quality, local food so they are ready to learn and grow, and activities enhance classroom education through hands-on learning related to food, health, agriculture and nutrition. Farm to school can serve as a significant financial opportunity for farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors and food manufacturers by opening the doors to an institutional market worth billions of dollars. Buying from local producers and processors creates new jobs and strengthens the local economy, as all cooperators know!
Co+opportunity is proud to support the work of National Farm to School Network through our promotion of Organic Valley - pick up some delicious dairy and support the farm to school movement at your local co-op today!