Grab a locally grown carrot and join students across the Klamath County School District on Thursday, Oct. 26 for the sixth annual Countdown to Crunch in celebration of National Farm to School Month.
More than 3,865 students from 12 schools will countdown together and crunch into locally grown carrots produced by local farmer Katie Swanson, owner of Sweet Union Farm in Klamath Falls, who is providing 4750 carrots for the event.
In past years, students have crunched Oregon-grown apples and Klamath-grown spinach. This is the third year a local farmer is supplying the district with thousands of fresh carrots for the annual event.
Klamath County School District hosted the first Crunch, organized by Patty Case, a now retired associate professor at Klamath Basin OSU Extension, in October 2018. This month, the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network organized the first annual statewide Oregon Farm to School Crunch and more than 30,000 students are joining the fun.
The Crunch event is just one way Klamath County School District demonstrates its commitment to Farm to School programming, both at the school and district levels. Throughout the year, the district’s Food Services Team supports Farm to School through its procurement and promotion of local foods, pursuit of grant funding opportunities, and support of agriculture education.
KCSD’s annual Crunch event is a fun way to celebrate farmers who grow food and to connect youth with local food, said Jordan Rainwater, KCSD’s Farm to School procurement coordinator. When possible, Rainwater has producers and growers visit the schools to meet students.
“Inviting local farmers and ranchers to be with students in the cafeteria when their food is being served makes meaningful connections for both the producers and the students,” she said. “We’re excited to host farmer Katie Swanson at Shasta Elementary for the Crunch at Once celebration this Thursday so she can hear just how loud her carrots crunch.”
KCSD Nutrition Services Supervisor Jennifer Detwiler heads the district’s food service team, working hard behind-the-scenes to advance and sustain the district’s Farm to School goals.
“With Farm to School celebrations occurring across the nation this month, we should be proud of what we’re accomplishing at the local level,” she said. “The Countdown to Crunch event is a wonderful way to highlight the many benefits of investing in Farm to School.”