Farm2School Google Site
The Lawrence USD497 Farm 2 School program encompasses a number of important wellness initiatives throughout the district. Over the course of the last 3 school years, the program has helped provide over 50 tons of local produce to the school cafeterias and hosted more than 5,000 students during experiential learning experiences. As a program, Farm 2 School encompasses local food procurement for school meals, garden education, and school gardens.
We are proud to announce that we have a school garden at every building! USD 497 is currently home to 12 elementary school raised bed gardens and four middle school production gardens. More recent additions include gardens at both high schools, Lawrence College & Career Center, the Community Transition Program at Pinkney, and the Juvenile Detention Center.
Thanks to numerous grants, donations, and district budget support, the Farm 2 School program boasts a staff of 28 educators. To learn more about your building's Farm 2 School liaison, click the building link at the left.
We are also excited to announce our attendance, alongside the Kansas State Department of Education, at the Vermont FEED Farm 2 School Adapters Institute. Information from this institute will be brought back to Kansas to launch a tri-state Farm 2 School Institute with Nebraska and Missouri.
If you have any questions regarding Farm 2 School or would like to get involved, contact Pantaleon Florez or Denise Johnson.
The goal of the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) Farm to School program is to expand the prevalence of fresh, local foods in school cafeterias and bolster agriculture and nutrition education. Lawrence Public Schools received a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to fund and support a robust and sustainable Farm to School Program. This program is intended to primarily support approximately 11,000 students attending USD 497, and directly supports the board of education’s goal to “enhance student wellness by integrating support and services across the district.” Students will be impacted by serving meals that feature more locally produced healthy foods, advancing farm to school experiential learning through school gardening initiatives and farm field trips, and facilitating curriculum integration of health and wellness in classrooms and cafeterias. As construction moves along at many locations, kitchens are being updated and space is being allocated for more school gardens. The district wide program will also impact children served by the summer feeding program. This program provides an ideal connection from farm to school, as seasonal summer produce is harvested, local farms can be integrated into these menus.