North Carolina Farm to School Program

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC — Educators are going the extra mile to make sure kids know where their food comes from.

All 25 public schools in Craven County are participating in the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Farm to School Program.

What do you want to know

North Carolina Department of Agriculture partners farmers with schools to source state-grown fresh fruits and vegetables

All North Carolina public school districts are encouraged to participate in the NC Farm to School program

Every public school in Craven County participates in the program

Craven County School Nutrition Director Lauren Weyand and her staff have implemented “Try Day Friday” at their schools. Weyand and his staff help schools partner with area farms to bring in different produce each week, then they let students sample the food before it appears on the menu. There are approximately 13,000 students in all public schools in Craven County.

“They have this opportunity to see it, taste it and see if they like it,” Weyand said. “Most people don’t realize that it takes a student 30 tries of an article before they decide whether they like it or not.”

She says the NC Farm to School program not only supports local farmers, but teaches students what farm-to-table really means.

“Just knowing that kids can eat food made from raw ingredients, as fresh as possible…that’s how I was raised and I know I have a healthier lifestyle at because of that,” Weyand said. “I feel like we need to give our students the opportunity to enjoy a healthy lifestyle to appreciate food for what it is.”

The Farm to School program was founded in 1997 after schools looked for a way to source fresh produce and farmers looked for new markets. Now, the goal is to get more school districts across the state to participate in the program.

Some crops offered throughout the season include strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, apples, grape tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, among other produce. The program is offered for 22 weeks during the school year.