Celebrate Taste Washington Day at your school on October 4th, 2017
Past Taste Washington Days at Auburn School District and Moses Lake School District.
Photo Credit: Washington State Dairy Council
What is Taste Washington Day?
Taste Washington Day is a day for school districts around the state celebrate Farm to School and local agriculture. On October 4th, or a day in October they choose, nutrition services, school gardeners, teachers, administrators, and volunteers all over Washington serve school meals with local ingredients and do activities to learn about the farms that feed us.
Cafeterias across the state celebrate how farm to school looks in their district by featuring local products, highlighting farm names on the menu and salad bar, putting up posters about Washington agriculture, or hosting farmers in the cafeteria! School gardeners host classes or lunchtime in the garden, and teachers do food and agriculture related lessons in the classroom. Share your activities and promotion on social media with the #TasteWADay and #WAfarmtoschoolhashtags!
This celebration was cooked up by the Washington School Nutrition Association (WSNA) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) with support from Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Child Nutrition Services to promote locally grown food served in school meals. It’s a kick off for National Farm to School Month.
How does Taste Washington Day work?
School district food services sign up with WSDA Farm to School to participate. They share information about any local menus, ingredients, or other the farm to school activities or they have planned for the day. Other activities sometimes include a Washington Apple Crunch at noon, farmer guest speakers, taste tests, FFA presentations, or visits to a school garden. Schools also get free templates and materials from WSDA for their promotions.
Farmers can also sign up to be a part of Taste Washington Day to offer to sell their products to schools and participate in school activities. WSDA Farm to School sends a list of farms that have signed up to schools, and helps with farm-direct purchases by matching farms and schools, finding farmers to speak at school events, or other logistics.
How can I be a part of Taste Washington Day?
Food & Nutrition Services Directors: Sign your district up to participate. Celebrations look a bit different in each district, but yours may include:
- Special menus with local ingredients! WSNA offers four sample lunch menus that use Washington-grown ingredients in each item.
- Highlighting Washington grown foods already on your menu
- Buying a product from a specific local farm to feature on the menu
- Special spotlight on a district’s “Harvest of the Month” crop on Taste Washington Day
- Doing a Washington Apple Crunch at noon
Farmers: Get on the list of participating farms for Taste Washington Day. WSDA will share your information, product availability, and more with participating schools.
School gardeners: Let us know what activities you’ll be doing in the garden for TasteWashington Day! Share photos on social media to join the celebration.
Teachers & educators: Feature a lesson on Washington agriculture, food, or nutrition. Let us know what you have planned! Some farmers love to do classroom visits.
Principals, superintendents, parents, communications offices: Find out what’s going on for Taste Washington Day in your classrooms, cafeteria, or garden. Support it and let the community know all about it! You may also be able to help guest educators, farmer visits or other activities. Not sure what’s happening in your district? Contact WSDA Farm to School to find out.
Check out WSDA’s Taste Washington Day webpage for more sample menus, recipes, promotion templates and other resources to help you get started! http://www.wafarmtoschool.org/Page/28/Taste-Washington-Day
Are you interested in joining a Washington statewide farm to school network? A group of schools, organizations, and agencies are launching a statewide farm to school network to coordinate promotions like Taste Washington Day, and celebrate and support your farm to school work year-round. Email WSDA to find out more and get involved in forming or joining the network.
For more information on Taste Washington Day, or to get help linking to your local school districts or farms, please contact Chris Iberle, WSDA Farm to School coordinator, email@example.com or 206-256-1874.