What is Farm to School?

Farm to School is a nation-wide program that provides early childhood education to cultivate healthy eating habits by exposing children to healthy local foods, cooking lessons, taste tests, gardening, field trips, and more.

Farm to School is a key strategy for early childhood development for two reasons: Health and high-quality learning. Well-nourished children are able to function better in school during a critical stage in their development.

Gundersen Health System is an active member of the Farm to School program.  Gundersen’s Certified Executive Chef Thomas Sacksteder supports the local program by visiting schools to educate students on healthy eating habits. The program also includes a “Harvest of the Month,” in which one local food is selected and promoted throughout the school system. Chef Thomas uses the “Harvest of the Month” in the recipes he showcases to students, and it is then served in the school cafeterias.

Grants received from the “Chefs Move to Schools” program have enabled Chef Thomas to continue to teach children about healthy food in a fun and appealing way.  Watch Chef’s Farm to School education assembly at a local school.

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How does the Farm to School program relate to sustainability? Food purchased from local farmers does not travel as far to reach point of sale, which in turn saves energy and reduces fossil fuel emissions. Buying local also supports the local economy.

Get involved! The Farm to School program exists in all states. If you or your organization is interested in helping children learn to eat healthy, check out the National Farm to School Network.

For more information on Gundersen’s sustainability programs, visit gundersenenvision.org.

Gundersen Health System and the Farm2School Program

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Gundersen Health System is an active member of the Farm2School Program. What is this program? The Farm2School program helps to build and establish partnerships between K-5th grade schools and local farmers to encourage healthy eating and proper nutrition among students and their families. This program is unique to each state and it can be found in all states. La Crosse County participates in the Farm2School program and Gundersen’s Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C) Thomas Sacksteder supports this program by visiting local schools during the school year to educate students on healthy eating and recipes. This program also includes a “Harvest of the Month” in which one local food is selected and promoted throughout schools. Chef Thomas uses the “Harvest of the Month” in the recipes he showcases to students. Chef Thomas has received many awards because of the success with the Farm2School program.

Chef Thomas also received two grants from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) “Chefs Move to Schools” program. This program enables chefs and schools to form a partnership to encourage healthy eating and proper nutrition for students. This program was started by First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, Sam Kass, in May, 2010. These grants have supported a project created by Chef Thomas called the “Chef Thomas Bean Challenge.” Students are given packets of beans at the start of the summer and are encouraged to plant them. In 2013 his challenge reached 5,500 students.

How does the Farm2School program relate to sustainability? The Farm2School program educates students about eating healthy local food. Showcasing local foods supports local farmers and the environment. How does this help the environment? Food purchased by local farmers does not have to travel as far, which saves fuel and energy which in turn is better for the environment. Buying local also supports the local economy and provides people with fresher food. If you are part of an institution or an individual interested in partaking in this program check out the helpful links below!

http://www.chefsmovetoschools.org/

http://www.acfchefs.org/ACF/Partnerships/ChefsMove/ACF/Partnerships/ChefsMove/

http://www.farmtoschool.org/aboutus.php

Gundersen Health System and the Farm2School Program

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At Gundersen Health System we are an active member of the Farm2School Program. What is this program? The Farm2School program helps to build and establish partnerships between K-5th grade schools and local farmers to encourage healthy eating and proper nutrition among students and their families. This program is unique to each state and it can be found in all states. La Crosse County participates in the Farm2School program, and our Chef at Gundersen, Thomas Sacksteder Certified Executive Chef (C.E.C), supports this local program by visiting local schools during the school year and educating students on healthy eating and recipes. This program also includes a “Harvest of the Month,” in which one local food is selected and promoted throughout schools. Chef Thomas uses the Harvest of the month in his recipes in which he showcases to students and it is then served in the local schools. Because of the success with the Farm2School program, Chef Thomas has received many awards.

In 2011, Chef Thomas received the Wisconsin state “Leadership in Prevention” award, the Prairie View elementary school “Friend of Education award,” and in 2011-2012 he received the Holmen school district/nutrition service “Friend of Education award.” He also received two grants from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) “Chefs move to schools” program. This program enables chefs and schools to form a partnership to encourage healthy eating and proper nutrition for students. This program was started by the First lady Michelle Obama and the White House Senior Policy advisor for healthy food initiatives, Sam Kass in May, 2010. These grants have supported a project created by Chef Thomas called the “Chef Thomas Bean challenge.” In 2012 his challenge reached 1,600 students and by 2013 it reached 5,500 students. Students are given packets of beans at the start of the summer and are encouraged to plant them.

How does the Farm2School program relate to sustainability? The Farm2School program educates students about eating healthy, local food. Showcasing local foods supports local farmers, and the environment. How does this help the environment? Food purchased by local farmers does not have to travel as far which saves fuel and energy which in turn is better for the environment. Buying local also supports the local economy and provides people with fresher food and encourages a healthy lifestyle. If you are part of an institution or an individual interested in partaking in this program check out the helpful links below!

Helpful Links

http://www.chefsmovetoschools.org/

http://www.acfchefs.org/ACF/Partnerships/ChefsMove/ACF/Partnerships/ChefsMove/

http://www.farmtoschool.org/aboutus.php