Alachua County Public School’s Farm to School to Work Hub is a place where students can learn about the food system by experiencing it. A joint venture between the Food and Nutrition Department (FNS) and the Exceptional Student Education Department (ESE) of the Alachua County Public Schools, the Hub has grown into a school lunch machine, producing over 150 heads of lettuce each week for use in school salads, aggregating and packaging produce from local farms for school lunches district-wide, and operating a school garden demonstration area where students and teachers can learn to grow food for the lunchroom in their own school gardens. The Farm to School to Work Hub is working, and students are receiving valuable training in horticulture, food production, food safety, and nutrition while impacting the local food system they are learning about.
The amazing progress of the program is a result of an outpouring of community support. Forage Farm and the Family Nutrition Program at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences were involved from the very beginning of the project and have been vital partners to its success. In addition, numerous other community supporters and donors have contributed money, equipment, and expertise, and a good deal of sweat. This fruitful collaboration mirrors the diversity and unity found in healthy food systems. The fruit is our students, growing healthy and preparing for the future.
Read more about the day-to-day work of the Hub HERE!