Welcome to the Illinois Harvest of the Month website, the online portal for schools and farmers to learn how to take part in this exciting program. Each month, schools in the program feature a different local food that students will love to eat. School districts can register to participate, and then gain access to curriculum activities, recipes, drag and drop tools and more. Click on each food to learn about what’s included!
What Is Illinois Harvest of the Month?
Harvest of the Month is an easy program that helps schools buy and serve more local food, while teaching students about healthy eating, nutrition, and agriculture. Each month, schools can feature a different local item on their cafeteria menus. This brings more money to local farmers and puts more nutritious food on student’s plates. Additionally, Harvest of the Month foods come with activities and resources for ways to increase education around that food. It’s fun and easy!
How to Participate
School districts can register in order to participate in the program this coming school year. Registration will be up in late May and will be live throughout the summer months. Districts that want to take the program on during the school year should reach out to the Illinois Farm to School Network and we can work together to make it happen.
Illinois Harvest of the Month is a flexible program and you can choose what parts you will take on as you undertake the program! School districts new to the program can take on some parts in Year 1, and then more in coming school years.
School districts that participate in the program will be required to:
- Participate in quarterly evaluations (surveys sent by the Illinois Farm to School Network that ask simple questions about participation and how much local food you’ve been able to source)
- Attend an online or in person training
- Display Illinois Harvest of the Month signs and materials in participating cafeterias.
Schools: want to learn the ins and outs of participating in the Illinois Harvest of the Month? All the details you need to know are laid out clearly here in our training video. Be sure to download the companion How To Guide as well. Here you will find every detail you can imagine that will help you as you implement this program.
For more training on how to buy local food and support your farm to school programs, check out the Mighty Mini Training Video series on the Illinois Farm to School Network website. All short videos with a ton of information for schools!