“It benefits the students by raising awareness of what we put in our month; where it came from; who grew it; and is it healthy. It also benefits the farmers, because this gives them a local market for their product,” said Hyde-Smith.
It’s teaching these children to eat healthy and lets them know we grow healthy food. And it helps to make sure our farmers get their products into the school system,’ echoed Governor Phil Bryant.”
Some of the farmers who actually participate in the program where also at the school to talk with students and explain to them how foods are grown. “A lot of kids don’t know where food comes from,” said Allen Eubanks, a third generation farmer from Lucedale. “It's good for us to come out and talk with them about what we do.”
Mississippi has participated in the Farm-To-Lunch Program since 2002. Through planned buys, schools are given choices of a variety of products grown by Mississippi farmers to include on their regular lunch menu. Some of those products include watermelons, grape tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage and cucumbers.