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SD Department of Education
Sept. 2021  
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Plan to crunch into local produce during Farm to School Month in October

In celebration of Farm to School Month in October, states throughout the Mountain Plains Region (CO, MT, MO, KS, NE, ND, SD, WY) are competing to see which state can get the most “crunches” into a local apple or other local produce, per capita.

South Dakota State University Extension and the South Dakota Department of Education’s Division of Child and Adult Nutrition Services are partnering to bring the event to South Dakota Oct. 4-8.

Schools are invited to join them in crunching into local produce. Join students, teachers, farmers, parents, community members, and local food enthusiasts in celebrating the wonderful produce South Dakota has to offer.

Here’s how to host a crunch event: Schools, preschools, daycare organizations, offices, families, and farms are just some great examples of groups to host a crunch event. Anyone can participate. Upon registration, hosts will receive examples of activities to make the crunch engaging and educational for pre-K through high school participants. Hosts can create their event to suit their group, ranging from simply biting into local produce to hosting an assembly with guest speakers. Each crunch event is responsible for finding and supplying local crunchable produce. However, staff are available to help connect interested area participants and growers.

Why participate?

“Serving local foods as part of farm to school programs has been shown to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students” says Anna Barr, SDSU Extension Farm to School Nutrition Field Specialist and Registered Dietitian. “Getting youth excited about fruits and vegetables sets them up for a healthy future.”

But the benefits don’t end there, Barr says: “Purchasing local foods stimulates the local economy and supports area growers, and it’s health-promoting for all ages to pause and appreciate a piece of local produce.”

All crunchable local produce can be used for this event, including apples, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, pole beans (aka green beans or snap beans), peas (snap or snow), etc.

To register a crunch event, follow this link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/79XXHNM. You’ll receive a toolkit along with other helpful resources upon registration.

Follow SDSU Extension Food & Families and the South Dakota Department of Education on Facebook for more updates and Crunch Off photos.

For more information, contact Anna Barr at anna.barr@sdstate.edu.


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