Farm to School

It's ironic but many migrant farm workers have a difficult time eating fresh produce. The job is demanding, frequently requiring workers to spend 12 hours or longer planting, cultivating, harvesting, and packing fruits and vegetables. At the end of the day, they generally don't have time or energy to cook dinner for their families and rely on fast food all too often. Though they're constantly surrounded by fresh, farm produce, they aren't able to eat it much of the time.

Migrant Head Start is a program that helps migrant families get better access to local, fresh, healthy food. Receiving grants from the state for buying fresh produce from Michigan farms, Migrant Head Start provides three meals a day to children in the Sparta early child care center. The money is also used to educate parents on the benefits of a nutritious, healthy diet. Field trips to local orchards and farms were also worked into the program as the children became more interested in their food and where it comes from.

The program is about to start its eighth year and runs from June through November. Many of the children who come to Head Start have never been exposed to fresh food before. This program helps teach them about the growing process and helps them develop healthy eating habits early.