Local farms and school food service are essential to keeping students fed during the pandemic. As of August 29, 2020, Maryland agencies served over 24.3 million meals since school closures began due to COVID-19 per MSDE’s Office of School and Community Nutrition. Before the pandemic, Maryland schools bought $18 million of local product for school meals on an annual basis per USDA Farm to School Census.
With Maryland public schools delivering remote instruction, constrained school food budgets, and school food operations offering free 'Grab-N-Go' meals through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) due to COVID-19, Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week will be different this year. In lieu of hosting in-person events at schools across the state, the Maryland Department of Agriculture encourages food service directors, farmers, teachers, students and families to show how they are participating in the week via social media.
Working in partnership with MSDE’s Office of School and Community Nutrition, schools, farms and families around the state can still participate in several ways:
- Take a short video clip of yourself talking about why farm to school is important to you. Whether you’re a farmer, food service staff, teacher, parent, or student tell us about your connection to farm to school. Post it on your social media account and tag @MDfarm2school and @MSDEnutrition or use the hashtags #MHGSLW, #MDKidsEatLocal. Or you can always email your video to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 28, 2020.