Local Food On Local Plates In Local Schools

How do we get more of the food grown locally actually on local plates?



On Saturday, Oct. 11, the Colorado Farm to School Task Force hosts a stakeholder meeting and workshop in Norwood to gather information and share experiences in doing just that. Anyone interested in supporting local food efforts is encouraged to attend; the meeting is open to all. An evaluation workshop is available the morning of October 10 to help those interested in pursuing specific Farm to School efforts. Free registration information here. 

The Colorado Farm to School Project was launched in February 2010 with the support of a Specialty Crop Block Grant through the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The Colorado Farm to School Task Force was created by Senate Bill 10-81 in late 2010 to “study, develop, and recommend policies and methods to best implement a Farm to School program.”

The Task Force meets quarterly throughout the State four times a year and is holding its fall meeting in the Mountain Village. At each meeting the group also offers technical assistance workshops for the local community and we are lucky to have them in our community this weekend. Their meeting is free and open to the public on Friday, Oct. 10, 12-4 p.m.

The main event begins with a local lunch at noon at the Norwood Community Room at 1670 Naturita Street in Norwood. The stakeholder session follows as more input is gathered from community members about regional needs. Sarah Syverson from Mancos School to Farm programs is scheduled to talk about FTS programming and bringing in more local foods, changing school policy on food and quality-long term sustainability for healthy school meals. Ole Bye from Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative (a new distribution organization helping farmers in Montezuma and LaPlata counties) will give us an update on their first summer of operations. And Martha Sullins from CSU Extension will be on hand with information about optimizing our Farmers Markets – and much more. Input from all areas of the agriculture and food sectors is important, so whether you farm, cook or just enjoy local food we need your voice.

A special evaluation tool kit presentation is available at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning to help understand the hows and whys of evaluating Farm to School efforts. A sneak preview can be found here.

(YouTube direct link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdHJq5RvOoc).

The goal is to create a Local Food Action Plan with this input so your thoughts are critical.

The events are free. To register visit this link or call me at 970-708-0289 or email kholstrom@gmail.com.

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