Homegrown School Lunch Week is Sept. 15-19
The Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week, an element of the Jane Lawton Farm to School Program, was created during the 2008 Session of the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley in May, 2008. Maryland was the first state in the nation to have every public school system participate in a Farm to School program.
Maryland schools spent $9.3 million on local food served in schools according a recent USDA Farm to School Census. Ninety-one percent of the local food purchases are vegetables; 86% of the local food purchases are Maryland fruits. The top items being purchased by the schools include apples, tomatoes, peaches, watermelon and corn. Schools also have an additional interest in local milk, chicken, squash, berries and cucumbers.
The goal of the Farm to School program is to see more local, fresh food in school lunches, not only to improve childhood health, but also to help them learn about the importance of our farms to our environment and daily lives.
For more information.
Buy Local All Year!
Summer and even early Fall is a terrific time for dedicating yourself to buying and eating local. So much is in season and available for cooking and eating.
MDA (and Maryland farmers) encourage all Marylanders to to eat at least one thing from a local farm every day.
It's not only good for you, it's a great way to find out what nearby farms are growing and how critically important they are to our state's economy.
To practice eating local, visit a farmers market or stand near you. Find one near you on our recently redesigned Maryland's Best website.
On July 24, Governor Martin O'Malley hosted the seventh annual Buy Local Cookout. Sixteen teams of chefs, working with local producers, will showcase the delicious meals they make with ingredients they source close to home. For more on the event and buying local.
For a free cookbook of recipes submitted by local chefs to the cookout, click here.