School District of Beloit’s Farm to School program is helping to bring in locally-produced fresh fruits and vegetables to its classes and lunchrooms.
Using grant funds, the district was able to hire a nutrition educator and is forming a task force to promote fresh food and nutrition.
“The goal of Farm to School is to implement school gardens, increase local food in school lunches, provide nutrition education in school classrooms in Beloit and strengthen the local economy by supporting Beloit’s local farmers,” said Janelle Marotz, assistant superintendent for business services and Farm to School program coordinator.
Thanks to recently awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the district was able to hire its third AmeriCorp member who works half time as a nutrition educator to bolster the program.
Merrill Elementary has an active school gardening program that provides hands-on activities to learn about plants and nutrition and Hackett Elementary has raised funds for a garden to be planted in the spring.
“We are working to obtain funds to provide gardening opportunities for Converse, Robinson, Todd and Gaston to offer hands-on activities in addition to our nutrition education and fresh fruit and vegetable offerings,” Marotz said.