The State of Farm to Early Childcare Education in Mississippi

Oct 01, 2019 | by
  • Description

The Mississippi Farm to School Network (MSF2SN) is a non-profit organization devoted to connecting farmers with schools in order to bring Mississippi products to school cafeterias. We seek to strengthen the local agricultural economy and educate Mississippians on the importance of eating locally-grown, nutritionally-dense foods. By gathering a diverse community of farm to school advocates, the network strives to reach all students and their families. Due to the growth in success with implementing farm to school in K-12 settings since establishing the organization in 2015, there was room for expansion. There has also been an increased interest in farm to early childcare in Mississippi. The MSF2SN Advisory Board and Directors therefore made the decision in 2018 to move forward with plans to include early childcare centers in our scope. To transition to incorporating early childcare centers (ECEs) into our work, we had to expand our knowledge of a whole new set of regulations and regulatory bodies. In an effort to effectively add to Early Childcare sector to our organizations network, Programs Coordinator LeBroderick Woods was hired as the Programs Coordinator: ECE specialist in the Spring of 2019. This report will serve not only as a informative piece of literature designed to bring awareness to these new efforts by our network but also as an invitation to join the network. Through increased awareness and education of farm to ECE we hope to be able to strengthen the network's reach, support centers to procure locally, engage in family involvement, and introduce the youth to healthy fresh food so they can cultivate healthier lifestyles.