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MDARD & MDE Celebrate Michigan Farm to Summer Month with Boys & Girls Club of Lansing

This program connects kids with fresh Michigan food from area farms

LANSING, MI – Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) members celebrated Michigan’s Farm to Summer Month at the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing by joining their daily lunch service to the community. Farm to Summer is a program connecting early care education programs, children, and teens with fresh, healthy food from local Michigan farms and producers.

Earlier this month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with the MDARD and MDE, proclaimed July as Michigan ‘Farm to Summer’ Month,’ celebrating the state’s local food and agriculture, allowing Michiganders to consume fresh produce and local products. Michigan’s shorter growing season means summer is the best time to source and serve Michigan produce.

“The future of Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is in the hands of younger generations, which is why it is so important we provide opportunities for young Michiganders to learn and connect with how their food is grown,” said MDARD Director McDowell. “I’m proud that several summer programs across the state focus on teaching healthy habits and highlight our fresh fruits and vegetables. Efforts like this show Michigan’s future in the food and agricultural industry is bright.”

“It is importation that children continue to learn during the summer months and that includes learning about healthy eating habits,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Children learning that healthy food is grown in their own state builds a connection with their neighbors and broadens kids’ knowledge of the many different kinds of nutritious food they can enjoy.”

Farm to Summer Month is directly aligned with Goal 3 of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan to “improve the health, safety, and wellness of all learners.”

These programs help children develop health habits through hands-on learning activities and educational opportunities, including school gardens, teaching where food come from, and taste-testing a variety of fruit and vegetables, during the summer months when school is not in session.

SFSP sponsors can take advantage of Michigan’s growing season and source many locally grown products into their menus. SFSP is encouraging meal sites to celebrate Farm to Summer with special activities the week of July 18 through July 22, 2022, and has created a newsletter that highlights fruits and vegetables, fun recipes, and educational and physical activities for each day.

Read the full Michigan Farm to Summer proclamation.