BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Crunch Off is a state-wide event celebrating local produce and Farm to School by crunching into any South Dakota grown “crunchy” fruit or vegetable. In celebration of Farm to School Month in October, states in the region including Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming are competing to get the most crunches into local fruits or vegetables per capita.
Crunch off participants will join other students, teachers, farmers, parents, community members and local foods enthusiasts in celebrating the produce South Dakota has to offer.
This year’s crunch events may occur anytime through Oct. 7.
Anyone can participate by organizing a crunch event or by supplying produce. Those interested in participating are encouraged to share their photos or videos crunching on social media with the hashtag #SouthDakotaCrunch.
Schools, preschools, daycare organizations, offices, families and farms are all good examples of groups that should consider hosting a crunch event. Each crunch event is responsible for finding and supplying local crunchable produce. Those hosting an event should register to ensure the event is counted.
“Serving local foods to youth has been shown to increase acceptance of fruits and vegetables,” said Anna Barr, SDSU Extension Farm to School Nutrition Field Specialist and Registered Dietitian. “Getting youth excited about fruits and vegetables sets them up for a healthy future, but the benefits don’t end there – purchasing local foods stimulates the local economy and supports area growers. It’s healthy for all ages to pause and enjoy local produce.”
For more information, visit the Crunch Off Event Page for a Crunch Off Event Guide, tips for hosting a crunch event and/or selling produce, and educational activities to enhance crunch events with all ages.
For more information, contact Anna Barr, SDSU Extension Farm to School Nutrition Field Specialist and Registered Dietitian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 605-995-7378, or Claudia Botzet, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, at email@example.com or 605-842-1267.