Paterson Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month! Farm to School Month highlights the importance of food procurement and the farms serving schools all over the country. While the definition of “farm to school” is somewhat self explanatory it is worth diving into. Put simply, Farm To School improves the connection schools have with fresh, healthy and local food producers. Farm to School benefits a myriad of people: First and foremost, students- Farm To School provides students with nutritious, high quality, local foods. They are given the opportunity to consume produce that has been cultivated in their “backyard” and feel more connected to food systems. Secondly, farmers- there are lots of financial incentives and benefits for farmers partaking in Farm to School. Lastly, communities- from parents, teachers, and administrators to farmers the accessibility of fresh food and buying local produce strengthens the economy and has lasting health benefits.
This year Paterson Public Schools is celebrating Farm to School month by providing kids with leafy greens from Dan Graiff Farms. Graiff Farms is a New Jersey fourth generation family-owned and operated farm. Selling and producing premium herbs and greens, Graiff Farms has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings circa 1980. For Paterson, Graiff Farms is how students are connected to leafy greens through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Graiff Farms provides schools with Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Baby Spinach, and Spring Mix. The partnership between the FFVP and Graiff Farms is local procurement at its finest. Being able to provide Paterson Public Schools with fresh, local and good quality produce is what Farm to School month is all about. One of the big successes that we have accomplished is that whenever possible Paterson Public Schools procures local produce from New Jersey farms throughout the entire school year.
About the Grantee
United Way of Passaic County looks to connect residents with healthy and organic foods. They believe access to healthy foods is a human right that all Passaic members deserve to have.