|2011 National Ag Week Art Contest Winner
Angelina Wedding, 3rd Grade Winner,
Whitehead Elementary School, Woodland
Farm to School Yolo is a public health and agricultural marketing initiative that has the potential to change the way students and young people eat, think about food, and improve health through development of life long healthy eating habits. It is a three-year program linking Yolo agriculture with the National School Lunch Program and 38,000 Yolo County preschool – grade 12 students. A majority, 65%, of these students are eligible for the national free and reduced lunch program. The program is currently funded through a three-year California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.
Farm to School Yolo works with all five Yolo County school districts and the Yolo County Office of Education’s Head Start Preschool Program to increase the amount of fresh, local produce offered in breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks. The program offers an opportunity to educate students and staff on food origins: how it was grown and how to prepare it for peak flavor and nutritional value.
Farm to School Yolo is a mandate contained in the Yolo County General Plan 2030 and builds upon the 3-year Yolo Agricultural Marketing initiative 1 and the successful Davis and Winters Farm to School Programs. A 60 member Advisory Task Force is guiding the project’s implementation that will include food service professional development; grower/farmer assessment, training and development; and menu and recipe templates. Also planned is a feasibility study of a Yolo County Food Bank food hub and private sector marketing and distribution linkages.
Founded in 1976, Capay Organic is proud to be the farm coordinating local, fresh, organic produce distribution to Yolo County schools for the Harvest of the Month program, acting as an aggregator for local farms. The farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Farm Fresh To You, which delivers local, organic produce directly to homes and offices in California, is providing marketing support, distributing newsletters and posters to county schools. Capay Organic and Farm Fresh To You’s mission is to connect people with the farms that grow their food.
“Harvest of the Month will help to teach the next generation to value fresh produce as a part of a healthy diet and to have a connection with the farmer and the land that grows their food,” said Thaddeus Barsotti, chief farmer and co-CEO. “Working with the county, schools and local farms to provide produce to school children is a model that every county should adopt.”
Public School District Food Service Directors in Yolo County
|From left to right: Dominic Machi, Cathleen Olsen, Nicole Sturzenberger, Spencer Springer, John Young (Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner)|
Davis Joint Unified School District - 1919 Fifth Street, Davis, CA 95616
Dominic Machi, Director Student Nutrition Services
Esparto Unified School District – 26675 Plainfield St., Esparto, CA 95627
Washington Unified School District - 930 Westacre Rd, West Sacramento, CA 95691
Karri L. Pina, Director, Food & Nutrition Services
Winters Joint Unified School District - 909 West Grant Ave, Winters, CA 95694
Cathleen Olsen, Director, Student Nutrition Services
Woodland Unified School District -902 College St., Woodland, CA 95695
Spencer Springer, Director of Food Services
Yolo County Head Start – 1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 140, Woodland, CA 95776
Stephanie Gray, Nutrition Services Coordinator