[Murfreesboro, TN] – Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS) has announced that they are a part of the National Farm to School program with harvests weighing in at over a ton this year. October is celebrated as Farm to School Month recognizing, and celebrating the connections happening across the country between students, families and schools.
The MCS Farm 2 School program has looked a bit different in 2020 but continues to include applied learning and STEM opportunities, raised bed gardening, hydroponics and greenhouses at school sites.
Three farmers and master gardeners, Cari Chestnut, Gabby Jones and Molly Royer, as well as nutrition services, work with the school gardens and towers to produce fresh vegetables for school cafeterias harvesting over 2,000 pounds of vegetables since January 2020.
“Our aim is to consistently acquire locally or regionally sourced foods for our cafeterias and make it the norm for our students to receive a variety of freshly harvested vegetables to develop healthy eating habits,” say Sandy Scheele, Supervisor of Nutrition.
In 2019, MCS was one of only two school districts in Tennessee to receive support through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm to School Program. MCS received a two-year implementation grant to enrich the connection students have with fresh, healthy food and allow students to experience the growing cycle of their food firsthand.
The Murfreesboro City Schools Farm 2 School team is comprised of Nutrition, Farmer Educators, Coordinated School Health, teachers and other stakeholders working together to expand and strengthen farm to school initiatives.
MCS officially began with the Farm 2 School program in 2014. National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010, making this year’s campaign the 10th anniversary of National Farm to School Month celebrations.