NVUSD Receives $63,500 Farm to School Grant
NVUSD RECEIVES $63,500 CALIFORNIA FARM TO SCHOOL INNOVATION GRANT AND CELEBRATES THE NATIONAL LUNCH HERO RECOGNITION DAY MAY 7
Napa Valley Unified School District has been awarded a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to help the district expand its school food program. The grant includes a partnership with the Napa Farmers Market to provide a joint Harvest of the Month program with education materials.
The $63,500 California Farm to School Innovation Grant will bring California grown, minimally processed foods to NVUSD schools as well as provide education opportunities between cafeterias, classrooms and communities. This will be a great benefit to the NVUSD Food Service Department -- called NOSH -- Napa’s Operative for School Health.
Said NVUSD Food Service Director Kristen Tekell, “Providing kids with healthy and locally sustainable meals that are also delicious is a critical goal and we are very grateful to the Farm to School grant to help us achieve this for our students.”
“We are extremely grateful for this grant opportunity and look forward to establishing new local partnerships allowing us to offer healthy, local foods that kids will love!”
What is the Farm to School Program at NVUSD?
Farm to school connects our school community to fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools. For students in Napa and American Canyon, this means a combination of bringing fresh and local ingredients and food education to campuses:
- Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria. (Local vendor partners include Mindful Meats in Petaluma and Walker Apple Farm in Graton.)
- Students are exposed to Harvest of the Month educational activities.
- Gardening tools and upgrades to the district’s Central Kitchen and school gardens
- Support for a NOSH farmers market event featuring a “blender bike” and nutrition materials
“Here in Napa, we are especially proud of our local quality ingredients and producers and want to do everything we can to connect kids to the amazing, nutritious food we have throughout the valley,” said Ms. Tekell.
Celebrating National School Lunch Heroes on May 7
NVUSD’s NOSH food services employees are being celebrated as part of the national Lunch Hero Day. This team of school nutrition professionals help prepare healthy meals for NVUSD students while navigating student food allergies and adhering to strict nutrition standards and COVID safety guidelines.
FREE Meals to all Students Next School Year
As announced on April 20, The USDA is extending the program to allow kids to eat for free though next school year. This announcement ensures safe, equal access to healthy school meals and addresses the continued pandemic meal service challenges.