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National Farm to School Month Activities Planned for October

October kicks off National Farm to School Month. The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDOE), in partnership with the V.I. Department of Agriculture (VIDOA), will host a series of events and activities to educate students and the community on the health and economic benefits of introducing locally grown produce to the schools. The theme is “One Small Step” and will highlight the simple ways the anyone can get involved and take action to promote farming in schools and to patronize local farms.
The special interagency partnership between the DOE and DOA sees St. Croix farmers providing public schools in both the St. Croix and St. Thomas-St. John school districts with farm-fresh watermelons. During October, students enrolled in the School Lunch Program will enjoy the watermelons as part of a special offering during the lunch period called “Melonmania.” This one small step signals the launch of Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp’s vision to increase the amount of locally produced food entering the territory’s school lunch program.
Over the past decade, the farm to school movement has exploded across the United States, reaching millions of students in all 50 states and U. S. territories. From school gardens and farm field trips to local food on cafeteria trays, farm to school practices help children learn about where food comes from and how to make healthier choices, while creating new markets for local and regional farmers.
For more information on National Farm to School Month, visit www.farmtoschool.org. Listed below is a schedule of activities slated for both school districts during October.
St. Croix District
Wednesday, October 5: VIDE and VIDOA commissioners eat lunch at Claude O. Markoe Elementary School at 11:45 a.m.
Farmers’ Meeting at University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen Campus Great Hall from 6:30-8 p.m.
Monday, October 17: Farmers’ Meet and Greet hosted by Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition and Taste of St. Croix, sponsored by VIDE and VIDOA at balter St. Croix from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19: Arthur Richards Junior High School’s poultry farm to sell eggs at the La Reine Farmers’ Market from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, October 27: 2nd Annual Food Learn Event opens DINE VI and honors Farm to School Heroes at Estate Whim Museum from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
St. Thomas-St. John District
Thursday, October 6: Farmers’ Meeting at the University of the Virgin Islands, Administration & Conference Center Room 142 from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Thursday, October 13: St. Thomas dignitaries enjoy lunch at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School at 11:45 a.m.

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