Georgia Organics is a member supported non-profit organization connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. Georgia Organics established the farm to school program in 2007, and works closely with school district leaders and state-wide partners and agencies to grow these programs.
Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. Farm to school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following:
- Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
- School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.
Georgia Organics is proud to partner with Georgia SHAPE on several initiatives that support healthy school environments and farm to school projects. These include:
The Georgia SHAPE grant program serves as a significant resource to Georgia’s school garden and food education projects.
- Georgia SHAPE, Georgia Departments of Public Health, Education, and Agriculture, along with Georgia Organics co-present the Golden Radish Awards to school district leaders for outstanding farm to school programs
- Georgia Organics works closely with Georgia SHAPE and other state agency programs to coordinate the annual Georgia Farm to School Summit
- Georgia Organics participates with Georgia SHAPE and other partners in the Georgia Farm to School Alliance, a statewide coalition that shares farm to school resources
- Georgia SHAPE supported the state’s first Farm to Preschool Summit in 2014, which attracted over 150 childcare providers to learn about gardening and cooking with young children. Georgia SHAPE early childcare award recipients were recognized by Commissioner Fitzgerald at a special ceremony at the Summit.
- Georgia SHAPE helps promote October Farm to School month. This year’s theme is Grow, Radish, Grow!
- The Georgia Department of Public Health supports Georgia Organics’ My Market Club and Food Oasis project