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Charlottesville Students Learn about Food Production During Farm to School Week

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Casa Alma brought in Alice the goat Casa Alma brought in Alice the goat
Farm to School Week in Charlottesville is Oct. 1-5 Farm to School Week in Charlottesville is Oct. 1-5
Students learn about locally grown food throughout the week Students learn about locally grown food throughout the week
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Farm-to-table is a concept that's long played out in restaurants with a goal to offer customers locally grown food and environmentally friendly meals, but the push is now on to deliver that same message straight to the cafeteria tables in schools.

And there's more to it than simply plunking down fresh vegetables on some kid's plastic tray.

Farm to School Week, which falls on October 1-5 this year, has a goal of connecting schools with area food producers who will provide fresh and healthy meals for school cafeterias.

The week also aims to enhance educational opportunities in school gardens and classrooms.

On Tuesday, October 2, Charlottesville High School welcomed people from Casa Alma to discuss urban farming with its garden-to-market class.

The organization brought in Alice the goat to help students learn about farming in urban areas.

Casa Alma says Farm to School Week helps students develop an appreciation for where food comes from, and nurture a desire for healthy foods.

“Urban farming is important for a couple of reasons,” Laura Brown, the co-founder and resident volunteer at Casa Alma, said. “One is we can use available space that we have in urban areas to produce food, and especially to address the issue of food deserts where some neighborhoods, especially low-income neighborhoods, don't have access to readily available fresh foods.”

Charlottesville City Schools has partnered with Local Food Hub to provide a special lunch menu each day that features foods from central Virginia farmers.

Local Food Hub says participating schools have purchased more than $12,000 worth of locally grown products.