Get Creative Marketing Local Food In Schools

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  • Ways to accomplish this task: Go beyond just adding a local food to the lunch menu.  To engage children, consider the following activities: Classroom announcements School newsletters Hands-on activities like gardening and cooking that connect children with delicious and nutritious local foods Plan a tasting event to introduce students to new foods before these foods appear on the menu.  Posters in the cafeterias or hallways Tape information cards to the "sneeze-guards" in the lunch line. Conduct lunch-line surveys of students to ask about their opinion of a food item. Engage students in trivia-type games about a food item during their cafeteria time. Farm visits
  • Ways to accomplish this task: Go beyond just adding a local food to the lunch menu.  To engage teens, consider the following activities: Recruit student volunteers from the school newspaper to write articles and press releases about your farm to school program Recruit student volunteers to create a Facebook page and to Twitter about your farm to school program Plan a tasting event to introduce students to new foods before these foods appear on the menu.  Posters in the cafeterias or hallways Encourage High School Coaches to promote healthy eating habits. Conduct lunch-line surveys of students to ask about their opinion of a food item. Invite a nutritionist to school to discuss the physical benefits of eating healthy food. Encourage the student council to adopt the local food/farm to school program as their community service project.
  • Ways to accomplish this task: To engage parents, consider the following activities: Communicate information about your program to parent volunteers in the school cafeteria - enlist them as advocates for your program! Use the school newsletter and web site to communicate with parents about upcoming local food on the menu. Take photos of students enjoying local food served in the cafeteria and include them in the school newsletter or newspaper Create a farm to school video presentation for parent-teacher nights. Cater parent-teacher nights with local food items served in your farm to school program. Send home a recipe so families can try a home version of food that will be served in the school cafeteria.
  • To engage administrators, consider the following activities: Conduct a presentation to school administrators and the school board about your farm to school program Invite students to participate in your presentation. Invite administrators to eat in the school cafeteria during National School Lunch Week (held each year in October) or National School Breakfast Week (held each year in March). Provide administrators with the classroom materials available on  http://www.farmtoschool.org/   and  http://www.mn-farmtoschool.umn.edu Support after school extra curricular activities with healthy snacks. Request that attendance, test scores and other indicators are tracked year over year to demonstrate school food program results.
  • To engage community leaders and business people, consider the following activities: Conduct a presentation to community leaders about your farm to school program.  Focus on how your program supports the local community and keeps dollars flowing among friends and neighbors. Invite students to participate in your presentation. Invite community leaders to eat in the school cafeteria during National School Lunch Week (held each year in October) or National School Breakfast Week (held each year in March). Partner with local businesses when possible (pizza parlor example). Partner with local businesses to conduct fundraisers. Ask the local business association to support your program ( ex. be the recipient of proceeds raised at community art fair or street fair). Conduct food demos or host booth at community farmers market.
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