Reach out to your legislators and let them know that you support Farm to School legislation in Mississippi!
Farm to School programs would benefit Mississippians in a number of important ways. Using Mississippi-grown products in school meals would improve the quality of foods served in schools, encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables, and increase health and nutrition literacy. In addition, Farm to School would increase revenue for local farmers who could then reinvest this new income in other local businesses.
Representative Toby Barker has re-introduced a bill to create an Interagency Farm to School Council.
Please support Farm to School in Mississippi by following these simple steps!
1. Find your legislators’ contact information by entering your zip code at Vote Smart.
2. E-mail or call your legislators and tell them that you support Farm to School legislation.
- Encourage your legislators to support Representative Toby Barker’s Interagency Farm to School Council Bill. The Council would be made up of representatives of various government agencies, schools, farms and other stakeholders to expand and coordinate Farm to School in the state.
Suggested talking points:
- Farm to School programs help to increase the quantity and quality of fresh produce in school meals while also supporting Mississippi farms by creating a new source of revenue for them.
- If $0.25 a day per student lunch in Mississippi was spent on locally grown products, it would add up to around $94,000 daily and more than $17 million annually as new revenue for Mississippi farmers!
- Farm to School programs increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that children eat through school meals, an important step towards promoting healthy living and combating child obesity.
- Farm to School programs have been shown to help students learn in other classes. Hands-on activities such as cooking classes with local products and field trips to farms enhance learning in core courses such as science, math, and economics.
- While many community members, including school food service directors, are excited about Farm to School, they are unsure of how to start a program and could benefit from support and guidance from state agencies and other experts.
Personalize your email by including the reasons that you support Farm to School.
- Parents: Tell your legislators why you want your child eating more locally grown produce in school meals and why having a Farm to School program would enhance your child’s school experience.
- School food service staff: Tell your legislators how Farm to School programs would enable you to prepare healthier lunches as a reasonable cost and why you value using locally grown food in the meals your prepare each day.
- Farmers and food producers: Tell your legislators that Farm to School programs offer you a great new economic opportunity, and that you want to help supply the food for your local community.
- Community members: Tell your legislators about some of the reasons you think it is important for Mississippi to encourage Farm to School programs, including the health benefits for children and the economic benefits for Mississippi farmers.
3. Spread the word about Farm to School in your community!
- Encourage other community members to contact their legislators.
- Help build connections between farmers and schools.
- Organize a community meeting to talk about how to start Farm to School in your area
4. Helpful resources:
- Farm to School Fact Sheet (February 2012)
- Farm to School Legislative Recommendations (December 2011)
- Expanding Farm to School in Mississippi Report (July 2011)