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school gardens

USDA Announcement of CACFP Training Grants Kicks Off FNCS Visits to Farm to School Program and WIC Clinic in San Antonio

Last week, USDA Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS), Brandon Lipps, made a whirlwind trip to San Antonio, Texas, to serve as the keynote speaker at the National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) National Child Nutrition Conference and visit local sites operating FNCS programs. The highlight of his conference remarks was announcing the availability of $5.4 million in training grants to help child and adult care providers deliver first-class meal service.

Students Helping to Shape School Lunches

What’s new with school lunch this year? In several school districts across the nation, this question is being answered by students themselves. Collaborations between school staff and students have resulted in school cafeterias that provide a welcoming environment for eating together, while offering healthy, appealing choices for their students. With the help of Team Nutrition Training Grant funds, many states have created these changes and developed ways to include kids in menu planning, taste tests, cafeteria makeovers and more.

Farm to School Grows with USDA Grants

Omar, the school garden club coordinator, instructs a group of seventh grade students to “pick an adult” and leads them to the greenhouse. The bright blue sky and expansive mountain range set a dramatic backdrop for the six raised beds and two greenhouses. Mona, a precocious 12 year-old student at Magdalena Middle School in New Mexico, wastes no time charging into the greenhouse and swiftly picking red leaf lettuce. She instructs me on proper harvest techniques while happily munching on Swiss chard, kale and lettuce straight from the garden – she clearly has no need for salad dressing.