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A Student's Perspective: How Fuel Up to Play 60 Supports Farm to School

Posted by Maggie Gosselin, Farm to School Program Analyst, Food and Nutrition Service in Food and Nutrition
Oct 26, 2015
Andrew's school garden
The garden at Andrew’s school!

This post was written by Andrew, a Wisconsin seventh-grader and Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with USDA, to help encourage young people to lead healthier lives.

Guest Post by Andrew, a Wisconsin 7th Grader

I am a student ambassador (for Fuel Up to Play 60) at my middle school in Wisconsin. I live in a dairy state. We have a lot of farms. In the short six mile drive from my house to school, I go by seven farms! There are also some green thumb farmers in our school. That is why we have our very own school garden. Our gardens have 22 garden beds that are planted with different fruits and vegetables in them. With those fruits and vegetables, we can harvest them for our schools so we can eat them!

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of fueling up every day! The Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassadors at my school participate by helping out with the gardens. We have pulled weeds, made garden beds, shoveled the soil, planted the seeds, watered the plants, and most importantly, ate the fruits of our labor! With these students helping out in the garden, we also learned more about gardening. Farm to School has been a great addition to our Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

One of our Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors, Mrs. Miller, is our school’s food service director. I led an interview with her to see what she has to say about our program:

1. We have a Farm to School Program, what items on our breakfast and lunch menu come from farm to school?

Many of the fresh fruits and vegetables come from local farms through our vendor, especially this time of the year. Our vendor is in Wisconsin, so they try to utilize the local farms to get their produce: lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, peppers, potatoes, apples, melons, strawberries.

2. What is involved in getting the foods from the school gardens to the table?

The vegetables are harvested from the garden by many clubs/classes – especially Fuel Up to Play 60. Other supporting classes and clubs are Agriculture & Science Class, Garden Club and Boys & Girls Club. They are delivered to our kitchens, cleaned and processed by our staff, and then served to our students.

3. What different ways do you use these foods?

We utilize most of these foods in our garden bars at our high school and middle school. We also have our Fuel Up to Play 60 Veggie of the Month, where we engage every student in sampling a vegetable that they may not have tried.

4. Are there other foods or drinks that are part of our Farm to School Program that do not come from the gardens?

Fruits and Vegetables are foods we utilize from local farms.  And of course, we have dairy!

As you can see, Farm to School and our school gardens help a lot with providing healthy foods to Kewaskum schools. I am happy we have the program.

We are too, Andrew! Thanks for sharing, and Happy Farm to School Month.

Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition