October was designated as National Farm to School Month by Congress is 2010. In October 2013, schools throughout Pennsylvania celebrated National Farm to School Month. Activities in four school districts were highlighted to bring attention to the great work being done in these districts to make local, Pennsylvania products available to their students. The events also served as showcases for the PA Preferred Program, which is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and companies throughout the Commonwealth which was created to make the purchase of Pennsylvania products easier. Each event was attended by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, George Greig and other representatives of both the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Education. In addition, attendees included farmers, representatives from local food banks, other community supporters, the media, and school district representatives.
The districts involved included:
- Bald Eagle Area School District
- Mt. Lebanon School District
- Great Valley School District
- Northern York County School District
October 11, 2013 - Middle school students in Bald Eagle Area School District were served local apples and potatoes and were visited by farmers who grow food that is served in their school lunches. The event also included a tour of the school’s garden led by students in the district’s agriculture education program.
October 15, 2013 - Jefferson Middle School students in the Mt. Lebanon School District sampled squash and zucchini from a local farm that was prepared by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture and school Chef Dave Misterka in the school lunch room.
October 22, 2013 - K. D. Markley elementary students in the Great Valley School District led Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig and other guests on a tour of their garden and tasted butternut squash soup. This event also highlighted a partnership with the Chester County Food Bank which helps the school district bring in food from local farms for school meals.
October 25, 2013 – Dillsburg Elementary students in Northern York County School District participated in Dairy Day where students were introduced to a cow, got milk mustaches, and saw their principal kiss a cow. The event, which included a partnership with Harrisburg Dairies, followed a month-long effort to encourage students to consume three servings of dairy each day.