Farm to School Grant Means Healthier Meals for DMPS Students


Just two of the locally produced foods served to DMPS kids this year.

Soon, more of the food Des Moines Public Schools students eat will come from local farms and gardens.

Des Moines Public Schools is receiving a $45,000 federal grant to assess the needs of our 60 schools and 32,000 students, and develop a “farm to school” plan for the district.

DMPS was the only district in Iowa to receive the United States Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant.

“This is a year and a half planning grant for DMPS,” said Nutrition Education Specialist Lyn Jenkins. “We will create a comprehensive strategy for local food purchasing, school gardens and experiential education. The grant will help us hold planning meetings with schools, partners and community as well as gather best practices from other farm to school programs. ”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $4.8 million in grants for 74 projects spanning 39 states that support the USDA’s efforts to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program.

“Farm to school programs work—for schools, for producers, and for communities,” said Secretary Vilsack. “By serving nutritious and locally grown foods, engaging students in hands-on lessons, and involving parents and community members, these programs provide children with a holistic experience that sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.”

Federal legislation authorized and funded the USDA to establish a Farm to School Program in order to assist schools and other agencies with improving access to locally grown foods.

Farm to school programs are one of the many tools and resources USDA offers to help schools serve healthier meals. Since the bipartisan passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, kids have eaten healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks at school.

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