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, supported 18 school gardens, and hosted more than 5,000 students during experiential learning experiences.
Lawrence USD497 is currently home to 13 elementary school raised bed gardens and four middle school production gardens. In the coming years, it is anticipated the district will add four more outdoor learning classrooms at the Lawrence College & Career Center, East Heights School, Lawrence High School, and Free State High School.
Thanks to numerous grants, donations, and district budget support, the Farm 2 School program boasts a staff of 21 educators. To learn more about your building's Farm 2 School liaison, click the building link at the left.
If you have any questions regarding Farm 2 School or would like to get involved, contact Panta 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 the 10,147 students (enrollment data from 2014) 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.