On World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day, we talked with Matt Hargis, the supervisor of the Farm to School program about the importance of DPSCD’s School Gardens and his vision for the future:
“The Office of School Nutrition is committed to procuring local foods, including farm fresh products to provide the highest quality, most nutrient dense foods possible for our students’ school meal needs.(Local meaning anything produced/grown in Michigan). By utilizing state programs, like the newly expanded 10 Cents a Meal program, we are able to incorporate even more local fruits and vegetables into our school meals, giving our students the best diets possible while they focus on their education.

My vision for the Farm to School program at DPSCD is that every student has access to a garden. I believe school gardens are foundational experiential learning tools to kick start that sense of wonder of watching something grow. Evidence also strongly suggests that students are more willing to try and consume new vegetables when they had a hand in growing them.

I wish to see DPSCD utilizing more of its vacant land to grow food; this vision is already coming to fruition with the addition of Legacy Academy as a secondary farm site. Not only do I want to see more farms across the district, I wish to see DPSCD students learning about agriculture as a career pathway. Farmers often get looked over as a viable career as the traditional way of thinking is that farming is hard work for low pay; however, there are many good paying jobs in the agricultural field and the need for high quality, organically produced food is only increasing.” Thanks for all you do, Matt!

Learn more about DPSCD’s Farm and Gardens here.