Farm to School
Saint Paul Public Schools connects with local farmers.
Saint Paul Public Schools is proud to support independent farmers in the Twin Cities through a new partnership with The Good Acre. One of those farmers is Mhonpaj.
She has been involved in farming since childhood. When her parents moved to the United States from Laos, they became pickle farmers and sold their produce to a local company. The family also started a small garden farm, growing many traditional Hmong foods for the family and for area farmers’ markets. Farming was a family event and everyone came to help during the harvest. When the family first moved to Minnesota, they had to learn about and manage threats they were not accustomed to. Our ever-changing weather and insect pests forced Mhonpaj’s parents to adapt their garden skills. Even with all the challenges, Mhonpaj says gardening is great stress reliever and a nice way to bond with family.
This year, SPPS hopes to buy even more local food through its partnership with The Good Acre. The Good Acre is a nonprofit food hub that helps support independent, low-income, and immigrant farmers.
The organization works with local farmers to provide solutions to challenges they may face in getting their products to market, including transportation, refrigeration, storage, packaging and distribution.
Saint Paul Public Schools is proud to support Mhonpaj and many other farmers in the Twin Cities area. As a member of the Farm2School program, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) purchased nearly 170,000 pounds of locally grown produce last year. All the produce was grown within 200 miles of St. Paul.
Lunch at school on the first Thursday or every month will feature seasonal Minnesota-grown ingredients! It's a special way to highlight local farmers, ranchers, and companies while providing fresh, delicious lunch options for students. The initiative is a special partnership between Saint Paul Public Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools, and students in both of the Twin Cities districts will enjoy the same Minnesota Thursday lunch.