Mass. Farm to School’s Harvest of the Month campaign promotes a different Massachusetts-grown food each month in college, K-12 and preschool cafeterias and dining halls across the state. The program’s goal is to encourage healthy food choices by increasing students’ exposure to seasonal foods while also supporting local farmers and building excitement about school meals.
Featured local foods for 2014-2015:
September – Tomatoes
October – Pears
November – Kale
December – Carrots
January – Apples
February – Butternut Squash
March – Dairy
April – Potatoes
May – Seeds and Seedlings
June – Strawberries
July – Cucumbers
August – Peaches
It’s easy to get involved!
Check back soon to sign up online for 2015-2016.
Harvest of the Month is a great opportunity to celebrate local abundance, experiment with new foods and recipes, and get some positive recognition for your school. We want to help you to continue to lead the way in making farm-fresh foods available to students and staff whenever possible.
It also provides wonderful opportunities for school food and nutrition staff, educators, school administrators, family members, and students to collaborate, and to celebrate your commitment to serving locally grown foods with the community!
What should I expect each month?
K-12 schools, preschools, colleges, and universities will:
- Locally source and menu featured Harvest of the Month food at least twice per month in all participating cafeterias.
- Utilize promotional materials including our beautiful Harvest of the Month posters, trading cards and “I tried it!” stickers each month.
- Share your experience with Mass. Farm to School and our community.
- (for K-12 and preschools) Identify and provide contact information for a district Harvest of the Month team and connect with others in your school community about Harvest of the Month opportunities at home and in the classroom (for ex., by including Harvest of the Month news in school or PTO newsletters, discussing the campaign with your principal, school nurse, a teacher, school garden coordinators, or parent groups).
Massachusetts Farm to School will:
- Provide individualized technical assistance for sourcing the Harvest of the Month foods from local farms.
- Mail Harvest of the Month materials (including posters, trading cards, and stickers for each featured food) for display and distribution in each participating school.
- Provide free downloadable promotional and educational materials for your use, including press release templates, monthly Harvest of the Month newsletters, and recipes.
- Provide access to additional resources for curricular connections and home activities (including links to curriculum guides, home-scaled recipes, nutrition information, arts and crafts, taste testing activities, and more).
Promotional materials preview:
Click to see larger image. You can order posters, trading cards, and stickers when you sign up!
In this section, you’ll find materials to help food service providers, teachers, administrators, and other advocates connect with students and families in the cafeteria, classroom and school garden. Let’s start with a couple of resources that you can use any month:
- Watch our 30 minute webinar called “Bringing Harvest of the Month to the Whole School Community”
This webinar offers tips on how to connect Harvest of the Month to the cafeteria, classroom and community environment. Learn from the experienced educators and staff at Island Grown Schools about their success with Harvest of the Month last year including tips on doing taste tests, school garden activities, art classes and more!
- Ideas for using Harvest of the Month Trading Cards
- A Guide to Taste Testing Local Food in Schools Taste tests are a great way to encourage students to try new foods. A student in Vermont said, “The activity was engaging because it was hands-on and we were able to make our own choices.” Give every student who participates in the taste test an “I tried it!” sticker. (Thanks to Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day for sharing this resource.)
- Invite a legislator to lunch! Draw attention to your school and the great work you’re doing for your students’ nutrition and for local farms. Use our step-by-step guide to plan your event.
Click below on the Harvest of the Month vegetable or fruit to find even more resources for communicating with families, for teacher use in the classroom and in the school garden. These include newsletter messages about the Harvest of the Month foods, curriculum suggestions, home-scaled recipes, nutrition information, arts and crafts, taste testing activities and more.
- Butternut Squash
- Seeds and Seedlings
How are you celebrating locally grown in your community? Share your story here!
Thank you to the organizations and companies that have helped to make Harvest of the Month possible.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Claneil Foundation, Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board, Project Bread – The Walk for Hunger