Farm to Summer

Megan Harper of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture speaks to Farm to Summer participants in 2018 at Morley Nelson Elementary School, Boise.

Idaho is broadening the footprint of its youth-focused Farm to Summer meal program.

The state Department of Agriculture this year added events in Twin Falls, Moscow and Coeur d’Alene to go along with those in the greater Boise area.

The third-year program provides participants ages 1 to 18 with educational materials and other take-home items in addition to a balanced free meal of mostly local foods. Many also attend presentations about agriculture. Events are held at schools, youth recreation centers and parks.

Sites were added in northern and south-central regions after foodservice staffs expressed interest, said program director Megan Harper of ISDA and Idaho Preferred, a department organization of member farm and food businesses.

“It’s good to see foodservice staffs throughout the state supporting Idaho farmers,” she said.

Agriculture presentations likely will reach more than 900 youths this year, Harper said. More will get meals at high-traffic locations like parks.

Here's the schedule:

• July 16 at Ada County Boys and Girls Club in Garden City.

• July 19 at Whitney Elementary School in Boise.

• July 22 at Marsing School District in Marsing.

• July 23 at Horizon Elementary in Boise.

• July 29 at Meridian Boys and Girls Club.

• Aug. 13 at Skyway Elementary in Coeur d’Alene.

• Aug. 14 at Lena Whitmore Park in Moscow.

Sessions were previously offered in Twin Falls, Notus and Homedale.

Funding sources in addition to local producers and food providers include Idaho Ag in the Classroom, Ada County Farm Bureau, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Dairy West and other commodity groups, ISDA and Idaho Preferred.

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