District awarded Farm to School grant

The Cheatham County School District has been awarded a Farm to School planning grant for the 2022-2023 school year.

We will pilot a Farm to School program this year in partnership with the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network, which is based in Martin.

“The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is very excited to foster the connections children have with local foods, agricultural education and hands-on growing experience,” stated NWTNLFN Executive Director Samantha Goyret. “In collaboration with Cheatham County School District through their Farm to School planning project, we are working through a collective impact framework to advance each school’s Farm to School initiatives through the creation of a #Grow Cheatham Farm to School Action Plan to advance the development and growth of the Farm to School movement in the county and throughout the state.”

The goal of this grant is to increase the amount of locally produced foods served through the School Nutrition department, while also educating students about how their foods are harvested and made.

At this time, we are confirming a partnership with a well-known Nashville Farm to Table chef who, in partnership with our school cafeteria staff and local farmers, will build a tasting menu to be tested in all of our schools. The most well-liked items from the tasting menu, as judged by the students, could become seasonal or regular replacements in the school cafeteria menu rotation.

Additionally, we are planning a community tasting event for Oct. 27 to celebrate Farm to School Month, our schools, and our local farmers.

There are also many additional school-level activities including field trips, school farming practices, and education on food waste and recycling embedded in the grant.

We hope the planning grant will allows us to make a long-term impact in the nutrition of our students and the local agricultural economy in Cheatham County.