TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)— The Kansas State Department of Education has partnered with Shop Kansas Farms to bring farm-fresh foods to K-12 schools across the state.
School districts can use an interactive map on the Shop Kansas Farms website to find farmers and ranchers, selling fresh, locally grown items.
“It will help that the kids know where their food comes from,” said Barb Depew, Farm to Plate project director for the state’s department of education.
Depew came across Shop Kansas Farms, LLC, and reached out to founders Rick and Christine McNary.
They began to work on ideas to create a partnership between KSDE and Shop Kansas Farms that would make it easier for schools to connect with producers to get more locally produced food on students’ plates.
“Supporting farmers and ranchers is critical,” McNary said. “Getting healthy food onto the plates of students is important.”
Rick McNary, and his wife, Christine, started Shop Kansas Farms as a Facebook group to help connect people to the state’s farmers and ranchers, so they can buy local foods. After the group grew, they decided to create a website.
The Shop Kansas Farms Website also features information about the Farm to School Program, an initiative to connect K-12 schools with local farms to serve healthy meals to students.
To learn more about the Farm to School Program, click here.