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      Students are cooking up locally grown food for lunch

      National Farm to School Month is being celebrated across northern Michigan.

      Students are enjoying recipes for school lunches with produce from nearby farms. Farmers are also visiting classrooms to show kids how their food is grown.

      Congress designated October as National Farm to School Month in 2010, to demonstrate the growing importance and role of Farm to School programs. Leaders say the partnership improves nutrition, supports local economies and educates children about the origins of food.

      "National Farm to School Month is providing schools in the region with a perfect opportunity to showcase their efforts to purchase and feature locally grown foods in school meals and activities," said Diane Conners, who directs farm to school programming for the nonprofit Michigan Land Use Institute.

      Several schools are taking part in Farm to School Month events.

      Friday, Platte River Elementary students will enjoying planting in their school garden hoop house. Children will also do some squash taste testing during lunchtime.

      Events are also planned throughout next week at Interlochen Community School, Central Lake Elementary, Traverse Heights, Northport Public Schools and Suttons Bay Elementary.