The Nutrition Services Division leads the Garden in Every School program and collaborates with individuals and organizations that support school gardens, including public and private agricultural agencies, waste management agencies, health agencies, and others. With 3000 school gardens, the Garden in Every School program reaches throughout the state to enhance education and health.
The mission of the garden program has expanded to include links with surrounding agricultural areas through school cafeterias, while maintaining the natural connection with cooking in the classroom and school recycling. This concept of linking schools with local farmers to provide fresher, tastier, healthier school meals is known as Farm to School and is considered a part of a healthy school environment. When fresh, farm-direct, seasonal food is included in school lunch programs, both children and farmers benefit. Combining healthy school lunch choices with nutrition education, farm visits, school gardens, and cooking projects in the classroom gives children a better opportunity to develop healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.