October is National Farm to School + Early Care Education (ECE) Month! A time to celebrate our connections between students and local food, share our farm to school + ECE stories and show gratitude to our nutrition and farmer heroes providing essential services during these pandemic times.
This year, due to COVID-19, we’re broadening our Farm to School + ECE Month events to allow for schools, families and communities to adapt their celebrations to best fit their local needs. Celebrate Farm to School + ECE Month anytime that works best for you and your community during the month of October 2020.
Share your story. Thank our heroes.
Whether you’re a school district or a family, no celebration is too small!
We want to track and amplify the stories of how Farm to School + ECE Month activities across Minnesota are celebrating the value of healthy, local food, and the heroes in our school lunch rooms and on area farms who make these important connections happen.
Explore our activities for Farm to School + ECE Month!Sign up and be counted!
Celebrate all month
There are a variety of ways you can participate in Farm to School + ECE this year. Register to let us know how and when you’re planning to celebrate and to receive updates of opportunities. Here are a few ways you might celebrate:
COVID-19 Update: We know Farm to School + ECE Month will be different this year, and we are still excited to support our local farmers and ensure access to nutritious foods. Many of the celebration activities can be adapted for remote meal options and social distanced participation.
- Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. Sign up here to receive your official Apple Crunch guide. Crunch into a local apple -
- Crunch virtually with your classroom, friends or family.
- The simple and fun premise of purchasing and crunching into local apples can be adapted for remote meal options and social distanced participation.
- What is the crunch? Celebrate National Farm to School + ECE Month by collectively purchasing and crunching into locally and regionally grown apples at noon on Thursday, October 8. Then share photos from your Crunch on social media! Everyone is welcomed to Crunch any day or time in October that works for you.
- Who should participate? K-12 schools, early care and education sites, hospitals, colleges and universities, farms, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, local businesses, groups and event households can register to Crunch this year! Anyone who wants to show support for local farmers and school nutrition can join!
- Where do we Crunch? Anyone across Minnesota can register to Crunch in 2020! Crunch from a social distanced classroom, the apple orchard, Zoom, the school garden, home or any safe and creative place!
- This collective crunch encourages healthy eating and supports Farm to School + ECE and other local food purchasing initiatives throughout the region. It’s also a fun way to connect food and nutrition to all kinds of classroom curriculum – from science to art! Whether you’re at home or at school, crunch with us this year!
- Remember to share your Crunch video or photos on social media - #MNfarmtoschool and #F2SMonth
- You can access fun apple lessons from MN Ag in the Classroom once you sign up!
- Add a local item to a meal, snack or weekly meal kit.
- Serve an all local meal (e.g. Minnesota Thursdays).
- Cook a meal with a local item at home with family.
- Sign up here to receive access to the Minnesota Thursdays Toolkit and additional resources on finding farmers or farmers markets.
- Join a virtual farm tour hosted by Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom – there are five free virtual farm tours in October – one is an apple orchard on October 8-- Apple Crunch Day!
- Use class time for Farm to School + ECE activity.
- Host an in-person or virtual garden harvest party or other activity in the school garden.
- Be sure to sign up to receive access to the resource folder where you can find extra lessons plans for your classrooms!
Reviewed in 2020