Each week, REAP's Farm to School team works to ensure that hundreds of pounds of locally grown fruits and vegetables are washed, cut, and packaged to be served as snacks in Madison classrooms.
Once processed, these snacks are delivered to Madison elementary schools, most of which fund the program through the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Kids and teachers love the snacks, and farmers love knowing their hard work is providing healthy snacks for children.
Over 5,000 students in more than 300 classrooms enjoy the REAP Farm to School snack each week. Kids are introduced to produce they have never tasted before and learn to eat with the seasons. A bountiful fall harvest supplies apples, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, Concord grapes, and other items, while in the winter kids snack on carrots, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, and other hearty vegetables. For many snack participants, this is an integral source of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet.
In 2015, REAP distributed over 180,000 snacks to more than 5,500 students.
"The snack program brings out so many smiles and good vibes at Allis school. Thanks for all you do to make this wonderful program so successful in Madison."
Carol Troyer-Shank, Allis Elementary
2015-2016 Participating schools
2015 Participating Farms
Each week, the snack is accompanied by our educational Snack Bite publication, which provides nutritional and agricultural information about the snacks for teachers to share with their students. Children learn about the farmers that grew the snack and make connections between their food and the land it comes from. Snack Bites also include classroom tasting tips and are provided in both English and Spanish. See example Snack Bites on the Farm to School Resources page.
Preparing the Snack
During the 2014 - 2015 school year the Farm to School team processed a variety of local fruits and vegetables from over 15 local farms to serve students local snacks for 33 weeks. Each week an average of 900 pounds of fresh produce was trimmed, sliced, cleaned, weighed, packaged and labeled for delivery to 13 elementary schools. Over the course of the school year, students at these schools tried 17 different local fruits and vegetables!