Farm to school initiatives have grown tremendously over the last decade, and between 2017 to 2018, 25 farm-to-school bills and resolutions passed, according to the National Farm to School Network. Although there is still a long way to go, these bills are paving the way for continued expansion in the future. The most common efforts target funding and appropriations, celebrating farm to school, farm to early care and education and farm to school pilot programs.
“Ultimately, these diverse policies collectively enable schools to serve local products, educators to incorporate food and agriculture into learning, and students to learn through gardening,” the National Farm to School Network points out in their State Farm to School Policy Handbook.
Whether your school has a fully functioning farm to school program or you’re just beginning, Cambro products support your efforts from the ground up.
When renovating school kitchens to better prepare and store fresh foods, Cambro has numerous products to support a safe storing environment. In fact, Cambro developed the StoreSafe Store Fresh® campaign to maintain food safety, optimal freshness and food quality. When combining Cambro food storage and Camshelving, food has the best chance of continued freshness. Using Cambro Camwear Food Pans with Drain Shelves, Colander Pans and Seal Covers is the best way to extend the life of your food. Drain Shelves and Colander Pans keep produce fresh by draining liquids away from food; these products work well when defrosting meat as well. Seal Covers create a tighter seal than your average lids to ensure food stays fresh.
Many schools are beginning to tend to their own gardens or bring kids out to farms to see how food is grown. When bringing food back from these outdoor environments, they are often kept in cardboard boxes. Keep your kitchen clean and safe from critters by immediately removing food from cardboard boxes and into Cambro Food Boxes. Take it a step further and reduce waste by eliminating the use of cardboard boxes and use Poly Food Storage Boxes to transport food back to the school. These boxes are durable, available in large sizes and easy to carry.
When teaching children about food production and how to waste less food, “both academic research and actual experience in schools across the country have shown that children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when given a variety of choices on a school salad bar,” according to the Salad Bars to Schools organization. Showcasing vegetables that have been harvested from school gardens in a Cambro Versa Food Bar allows children to see how produce is served in its raw state. Plus, children are given the opportunity to serve themselves and begin to make healthy choices on their own.
The farm to school movement is slowly but surely influencing schools to serve more fresh produce and educate children about how to live healthier lives. Contact your Cambro rep to get your school equipped with the right products to serve your school. Learn more about the farm to school movement, at www.farmtoschool.org.