Wisconsin schools face challenges with farm-to-school programs

Fresh produce deliveries require more prep and more workers causing more challenges for districts.

Oct. 9—No one is likely to dispute the advantages of farm-to-school movements, but experts say initiating a program is not as easy as gathering produce from the field and trucking it to your local school cafeteria.

Schools feed thousands of students each day, which means small local farmers may not be able to provide the bushels and pounds of tomatoes, cucumbers or fruit required for each meal. Farm-fresh deliveries also mean hours of cleaning, chopping, cooking and storing foods, requiring additional staff time and training.

The idea of farm-to-school programs is to encourage schools to buy fresh produce from local farmers as much as possible, as well as educating students about the fresh foods they are eating.