30 Georgia School Districts Honored for Farm to School Program Success

October 6, 2014

Thanks to a new healthy food initiative sweeping across Georgia, students throughout the state are enjoying fresh, locally grown produce every day. It’s known as the Farm to School program and 30 school districts are being recognized for their achievements in providing important lessons on nutrition and gardening.

The Farm to School program, organized in the state by Georgia Organics, is a national movement that connects schools and local farms to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition and offer experiential learning opportunities through farming and gardening lessons.

The program is designed to enhance traditional classroom settings with lessons that help educators teach core curriculum, as well as support local economies, fight obesity and other preventable, food-related diseases, and increase the amount of local food served to students during the school day.

Recently, 30 school districts utilizing the Farm to School program were presented with the Golden Radish Award, a unique honor that recognizes their successful program implementation efforts – from local food procurement to hosting taste tests and gardening with students. The award is presented at gold, silver, bronze, and honorary levels to districts with varying stages of Farm to School programs.

Georgia leaders including State School Superintendent, John Barge, Ph.D., Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., and Georgia Organics Board Chair, Mandy Mahoney attended the awards ceremony to personally congratulate the districts for creating a healthier school environment for all Georgia students.

“When children are offered fresh, locally sourced foods, they are more prepared for learning today, and more likely to continue healthy habits tomorrow,” said Dr. Barge. “At the same time, their school is supporting local agriculture, which has been and will continue to be an anchor of Georgia’s economy. It’s a positive thing from so many angles.”

The 30 school systems honored with a 2014 Golden Radish Award include:

Gold Level

Atlanta Public Schools
Burke County Public School System
Carrollton City Schools
City Schools of Decatur
Clarke County School District
Habersham County Schools
Jackson County School System
Laurens County Schools

Silver Level

Bibb County School District
Bleckley County School District
Fulton County Schools

Bronze Level

Commerce City Schools
Dougherty County School System
Forsyth County Schools
Grady County Schools
Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
Tift County Schools

Honorary Level

Barrow County School System
Cobb County School District
Crisp County School System
Decatur County Schools
DeKalb County School District
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Hall County Schools
Madison County School District
Marietta City Schools
Newton County Schools
Peach County Schools
Rabun County Schools
Richmond County School System

Teachers, administrators or community members interested in implementing the Farm to School program at their local schools can visit Georgia Organics online for more details, useful resources and registration instructions.

                                                                                                                            

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