On Wednesday, Ellen Patterson’s 3rd-grade class and other students at Virginia L. Murray Elementary School celebrated Virginia Farm to School Week by participating in the “Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth,” a synchronous eating of Virginia apples at 10 a.m.
The PTO at V. L. Murray, an Albemarle County school, partnered with the Local Food Hub to purchase Jonagold apples from Dickie Brothers Orchard in Nelson County.
Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that partners with more than 60 small family farmers in Virginia to increase access to local food. It serves as an aggregation and distribution point for farm sourced food, and provides training and technical assistance to its partner farms.
For Virginia Farm to School Week, the Local Food Hub is supplying cafeterias in six public school districts and one private school with fresh, fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products grown by Virginia family farms. In total, the schools purchased over $10,500 in local products.

Virginia Farm to School Week is organized by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and coincides with National Farm to School Month, declared for the month of October by the U.S. Congress.

Laura Brown, chief of staff at the Local Food Hub, announced the countdown to the “Crunch Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth” at Murray Elementary on Wednesday. Some students had already started crunching their apples!

Josh Mandell graduated from Yale in 2016 and has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association with five awards for education writing, health, science and environmental writing and multimedia reporting.