**2012-13 SCHOOLS YEAR**
A new selection process is currently underway to add additional Feed My School programs for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. No more than five schools will be selected, one representing each region of Georgia (northeast, northwest, central, southeast, southwest). Each district will select one school (consisting of any grade variety) in which to highlight this program. Priority will be shown to schools meeting at least 50 percent free and reduced price averages for school meals. This new program for the 2012-13 year varies from last year's pilot program by increasing the length of program development from one year to two years.
In year one (2012-13) the schools are selected and partnerships will be made on all levels necessary to increase the amount of food purchased. In year two (2013-14) the procurement of these foods will take place and each school will select one week to feature 75 to 100 percent Georgia Grown foods, highlighting all partnerships formed. This week will still be accompanied with agriculture education* within the same school.
2012-2013 Schools Selected for Second “Feed My School for a Week” Program
Madison County- Colbert Elementary
Chatham County – West Chatham Elementary
Grady County—Southside Elementary School
Bibb County— Skyview Elementary School
Forsyth County—Sharon Elementary
Each of the five school systems will be represented by an elementary school in their district. During a one-week period in an upcoming semester, all lunches served out of each selected school’s cafeteria will consist of 75-100 percent Georgia Grown food. The schools will host an agriculture guest speaker, hold “taste tests” for Georgia commodities, and conduct an essay contest. There will also be an art contest at each school that is focused on a single Georgia commodity, in addition to several other educational activities throughout the designated week.
2011-2012 Program Update:
These three pilot schools and their supporting school systems from the 2011-2012 school year will continue to receive direct involvement and resources from GDA for three more consecutive years (totaling four years of total involvement). Evaluations will be performed on last year’s FMS program across all areas, including: Procurement, challenges associated with operating a farm to school program, established grower relationships to both schools and distributors, established distributor relationships to both schools and growers, food safety concerns, agriculture education development, food volume and alternate farm to school methods when Georgia’s foods are not in season. These three schools will also be asked to feature at least 30 to 50 percent Georgia Grown food items for an entire month and will be encouraged to begin serving some of the same local food items across all local schools within their respective district -- ultimately working toward a farm to school mind set in all school food purchasing for each respective system.
Click here for statistics and facts from the 2011-2012 school year as it relates to the Feed My School program.
*Agriculture education includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Encourage the Georgia Department of Education to adapt a state wide Ag Curriculum to be made available at all grade levels for all grade subjects; this curriculum will be posted on the online tool-kit** being created.
- Continue to utilize Georgia Farm Bureau as an Ag in the Classroom resource.
- Create a FFA/4-H Farm to School mentor program for high-school aged students to partner with helping both elementary and middle schools with their farm to school programs (i.e., planting/tending gardens, reading ag literature, college ag career day, etc.)