Farm to cafeteria : implementing a Fith Season at your school
Smith, Diane K.
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The USDA’s Farm to School Program helps child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods into the National School Lunch Program and its associated programs, as well as the Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. Farm to School provides all kids access to nutritious, high-quality, local food, so they are ready to learn and grow. Farm to School empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. The concept of a “Fifth Season” came from the understanding that the growing and harvest season may not coincide with school menu planning. The term “Fifth Season” is used to describe adding a “season” to the usual four seasons by processing and freezing the harvest in the summer when so many fruit, veggies, herbs, and spices are most bountiful. It is a wonderful way to provide local summer produce on the school menu during the school year. Local farmers can provide fresh, local, and seasonal food to be served on the school menu, off-season, by working with schools on a Fifth Season event.