The Kentucky Department for Public Health Obesity Prevention Program has awarded $54,000 in grants to several Kentucky counties. The awards were given as part of the Farm to School program, which connects schools and local farms with the goal of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias while also supporting local farmers.
Funding was awarded to Calloway, Carlisle, Daviess, Fayette, Madison, Marshall, Mercer, Owsley, Perry and Woodford counties. Each of the 10 counties received a $5,400 grant.
“The Farm to School program is a wonderful way to provide our students with healthy, Kentucky grown food,” first lady Jane Beshear said in a press release. “This initiative will support local agriculture while also encouraging young people to make nutritious choices, both now and in the future.”
Under the requirements of the grant program, local health departments in these communities will establish Farm to School teams that consist of food service directors, classroom teachers, farmers and community advocates. These teams will implement activities in local schools that include three program areas – cafeteria, classroom and community – as a way of educating children about what they eat; what they learn about food; and what they observe in their communities.
In addition to supplying nourishing, locally grown food in schools, Farm to School offers nutrition and agriculture education that helps children understand where their food comes from and how their food choices affect their bodies, environment and community.
Local teams will receive training and technical assistance from the Kentucky Farm to School Taskforce led by DPH. Other members include the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Community Farm Alliance, the University of Kentucky (UK) agriculture extension offices, the UK College of Public Health and Action for Healthy Kids.