Chicopee Public Schools’ farm-to-school program, which we call ChicopeeFRESH, provides every student in our district access to locally sourced, nutritious meals and experiential learning opportunities in the classroom and in our school gardens. Through the ChicopeeFRESH program, we aim to achieve food security in our community, support the New England food economy, and empower our students to develop healthy and positive relationships with their food.
What is Farm to School?
According to the National Farm to School Network, Farm to school (FTS) programming provides students with access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. FTS empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. Important elements of FTS include: Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test; Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.
Visit the National Farm to School Network website for more information about the benefits of farm to school.
About the Chicopee Food Service Department
We believe that every student in the entire K-12 public school system nationwide deserves access to healthy, nutritious, and FRESH foods. However, school lunches have a reputation for being unhealthy, nutrient-deficient, and certainly not fresh. We want to change that, starting right here in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Chicopee Public Schools Food Services is changing the way that school lunches are looked upon. We strive to serve the healthiest meals possible, sourcing as much local food as we can while working within a very tight budget. The result is a comprehensive and creative seasonal menu that focuses on health, wellness, and sustainability. If the kids leave our cafeterias with a full belly after eating a nutritious meal, then they are much better set up to learn and be successful in the classroom.
That's why we're doing this. It's as simple as that. There's many more environmental and public health reasons to source locally. For us it's about the health of our community and the short and long-term health of our kids. We can't decide what they eat after school, but we can decide what foods to serve them each day while they are in school. We can decide how that food it is prepared, where it comes from, and who supplies it.
We choose FRESH, LOCAL, AND HEALTHY. We hope you agree and contact us if you want to learn more!