Farm to School programs come in many shapes and sizes unique to the communities that build them. After exploring the resources and existing programs on the left, contact your state Farm to School lead for additional information and assistance specific to Mississippi:
In the school year 2009-10 this program distributed 13,326 cases of southern peas, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini squash, grape tomatoes and watermelons to students in every public school district in the state. With up to $2.2 million in DOD Fresh entitlement to draw from, the MDE Office of Child Nutrition will work with MDAC to purchase locally grown produce whenever possible and practicable for School Year 2010-2011.
Through planned buys coordinated through MDE staff, MDAC staff and DOD prime vendors, schools are given choices of a variety of Mississippi grown products to choose from each semester. MDAC staff and local farmers plan their crops according to the planned buys from MDE. Mississippi farmers plant, harvest and ship to MDE-contracted distributors the requested produce in time for school children to enjoy them as a healthy part of their regular school lunch.
A great favorite of children across the state is the seedless bambino watermelons grown in Bassfield, Mississippi. The children await the arrival of these wonderfully sweet, freshly picked and packaged melons each year. Grape tomatoes from Lucedale, Mississippi are also a huge favorite of the school children in Mississippi. Dependent on availability children in Mississippi in the past eight years have also had access to strawberries, blueberries (frozen), cantaloupes, broccoli crowns, eggplant and cabbage.
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