Locally-grown fruits, vegetables and other foods will be on the menu for New York State schoolchildren Oct. 5-11, as the state celebrates New York Harvest for New York Kids Week.

Unofficially known as “Farm to You Fest 2009!” the annual event focuses on educating and exposing kids to foods grown in the Empire State, according to a news release from the New York Department of Agriculture & Markets.
In addition to serving New York-grown foods in cafeterias, schools will bring in farmers and nutritionists to talk to students and students will take field trips to local farms and farmers’ markets. Many other activities are planned.

A list of Farm to You Fest 2009! activities and other harvest-related events throughout October can be found at http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/f2s/news.html.

In support of the event, the department has created trading cards, posters, coloring books, harvest charts and brochures to be distributed to students.  As of Oct. 1, more than 50 school districts had received the materials.

Farm to You Fest 2009! is supported by the New York Farm to School Coordinating Committee, a statewide coalition of school foodservice directors, farmers, health professionals, researchers, educators, government program representatives and others committed to increasing the consumption of locally-grown foods in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions, according to the department Web site.

The department provides administrative staff and operational resources for the committee.