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LiveWell for July 12

Farm to School movement
by Cindy Campbell
HUERFANO — Diabetes and other health issues related to obesity can start at a very early age. It is important to reach all children in the community and help address this growing epidemic. This concern about the obesity crisis and health of today’s youth has resulted in an increase in local food movements. One of those movements is the Farm to School Program, which brings fresh, locally* grown produce to school lunches.
Locally grown food is a good idea for many reasons. When schools use local food, children understand where their food comes from. The food is improved because it is more likely to be whole, unprocessed food and therefore healthier. When schools purchase food from local growers, the money is kept in the county which is good for the local economy and the producers. Reducing the miles the food needs to travel cuts down on fuel needed to transport the food, which is good for the environment.
Farm to School programs connect growers to schools and support the health and future of our children. In time, Farm to School programs should promote healthy eating habits, increase local production, processing, distribution and storage, and create stable markets for producers. Local food is healthier for us and our families, the land and environment, farmers and ranchers, and the community as a whole. Each day there are more Farm to School programs sprouting and growing around the country, bringing fresh produce, fresh partnerships, and fresh solutions to the table.
For more information about Colorado Farm to School projects, go to: http://movement.livewellcolorado.org/uploads/files/CO-FtoS-Primer.pdf. Or call Cindy Campbell at 738-5200.
*There are many definitions of local, the common being: ‘local as possible; the closer the better.”