/ Modified nov 24, 2015 3:12 p.m.

Federal Grant to Help TUSD Grow Its Garden Program

Farm to School grants meant to improve access to local food, including from school plots.

borton school garden 03 spot Molly Reed, an outdoor learning teacher, walks through Borton Primary Magnet School's garden.
Emily Huddleston, AZPM


The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week awarded Tucson Unified School District almost $100,000 to boost its Farm to School program.

The federal program aims to improve school’s access to local foods and will distribute $4.8 million to projects in 39 states.

TUSD worked with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona on a grant from the same program in 2012. The new grant will help the district build on that work which included purchasing more produce from local farms and establishing school gardens.

“Our focus will be to expand our outreach and expand the program so that we will have a sustainable system,” Food Services Director Shirley Sokol said.

TUSD will continue to partner with the food bank to buy from a network of 20 farmers who form a collective to sell to the district.

The district will also look to its school gardens as a source for fresh produce. While many schools have gardens, only a few are certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services to serve their harvest on campus.

“When they’re certified then we can tie them into our TUSD menu,” Sokol said.

Four schools– Borton Magnet School and Manzo, Wright and Mission View elementary schools – are certified. The district plans to double that number in the next year.

MORE: News, Tucson
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona