Homegrown Snack Program

The Homegrown Snack Program at Franklin and Randall Elementary Schools has been supporting our students and farms around Madison, Wisconsin since the spring of 2009.

WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM GOALS?

  • To encourage nutrient-rich snacks (mainly fresh fruits and vegetables)
  • To expand students’ food knowledge and variety
  • To demonstrate the value of making healthy food choices
  • To educate students about where their food comes from
  • To support sustainable agriculture and promote connections between our health, our food, our farms and our environment

WHY ARE WE DOING IT?

  • Childhood obesity and processed food consumption are at an all time high
  • It is important that our students learn about and take an active role in making positive choices for a healthy lifestyle
  • School is an ideal place to reinforce healthy lifestyles and teach about supporting the local economy
  • This is something our small community can do now while working with the Madison Metropolitan School District to improve the quality of school meals

WHAT SNACKS ARE SERVED?

Recent snacks have included produce such as sweet peppers, kohlrabi, sweet potato, baby bok choi, broccoli romanesco, yellow carrots, apples, beets, rutabaga, spinach, celeriac and turnips, as well as organic cheese/milk and whole wheat tortillas.

WHERE DOES THE FOOD COME FROM?

Our produce, dairy and other local snacks come from nearby farms such as Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, Garden To Be Farm in Mt. Horeb, Snug Haven Farm in Belleville, Ela Orchard in Rochester, Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus, Gitto Family Farm in Watertown and Future Fruit Farm in Ridgeway.

WHO FUNDS THE PROGRAM?

  • Franklin-Randall parents (money and volunteer time required for operation)
  • Franklin-Randall PTO grants (supplies/equipment)
  • Local farm one-time donations (supplies/equipment/milk/cheese)

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Snacks cost about $15 per student per year (about 40 cents per snack). All students are included in the program, regardless of ability or desire to pay. This has been made possible through many “snack scholarships” contributed by Franklin-Randall families.

WHO PREPARES THE FOOD, WHEN & WHERE?

Each Wednesday from 8:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., a handful of faithful parent volunteers meet in the kitchen at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (near Franklin School) to peel, chop, wash, bag/label and deliver hundreds of pounds of produce. The goal is to provide students with one homegrown snack each week.

WILL THE PROGRAM CONTINUE NEXT YEAR?

The program will continue to provide fresh, nutrient-rich snacks from nearby farms as long as parents, students and staff continue to support it with their money, time and energy!

CAN I HELP?

Yes! We can always use more volunteers. It is a quick, fun and rewarding once-per-week experience. For more information about the Homegrown Snack Program, or to volunteer, please contact Mike McLain, 608-224-0877 or mmmclain@wisc.edu.