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Farm to School: Local Food for School Lunches

Help us support our partner Groundwork’s Farm to School Program! Now through December 15, Higher Grounds will donate $5 for every retail bag purchased of our fall seasonal blend, Harvest. Farm to School financially supports local farms and protects farmland by helping schools serve locally grown food, while educating students about why local food is good for health, environment and economy.

For 25 years, Groundwork has empowered people who want to be part of creating a better Michigan with innovative, local-based solutions that create a clean environment, strong economy, and healthy community.

Since their beginning in 1995 as the Michigan Land Use Institute, Groundwork has been giving people an opportunity to create the Michigan they want to see, protecting the environment, strengthening the economy, and building thriving communities. Today changes are taking place that will define the future of our communities for decades to come. We can either accept what heads our way or be intentional by engaging with innovative, principled ideas, and inspired work. We can trust our hope and create optimistic solutions that shape a bright tomorrow for our people, communities, and environment. At Higher Grounds and at Groundwork, we believe that we—all of us as a community—have no choice but to take action, from the ground up. 

Farm to School is a name for a system in which schools purchase food from local farmers. The name highlights the direct connection and hints at the nutritional and economic value of the relationship. The most direct benefit of Farm to School is that locally grown food arrives at the school as fresh as possible, and that means it contains the greatest nutrient quality for children. Research has shown that food higher in nutrients can lead to better brain development and increased learning—upping the odds for brighter futures for kids. Healthier food also addresses head-on the dangerous diet-related childhood diseases the United States faces today, the kinds of diseases that threaten to bankrupt our medical system.

Schools that have farm to school purchasing typically increase their food health education, aiming to instill healthy shopping, cooking, and eating habits throughout life. When schools purchase directly from local farms, the farmers tap into a stable revenue stream that is most active during a typically lean time for farmers—the school year. Financial stability is essential for keeping farms in farming, and keeping their land beautiful and safe from development.

Groundwork was an early advocate for farm to school purchasing in Michigan, and we trace our involvement back nearly two decades. At the dawn of the movement, they consulted with school food directors and superintendents and helped secure grants for early programs. They've also been instrumental in developing class curriculum, planting school gardens, and improving the cooking capacity of school kitchens, all with the intent of creating a broader healthy food culture in schools to create healthy lives while also supporting family farms. 

To learn more about Groundwork’s Farm To School, visit: https://www.groundworkcenter.org/farm-to-school/  

To participate in our fundraising campaign, purchase Harvest Blend to donate $5 to Groundwork here: https://www.highergroundstrading.com/collections/signature-blends/products/harvest-fall-blend