There are many organizations that partner with the Colorado Farm to School Task Force to help support its activities and to address concurrent farm to school work that is critical to the long term sustainability of FTS in Colorado. Check out the webinar to learn how the state of Colorado supports FTS efforts and read below about the organizations that are heavily invested in making FTS a reality in all Colorado schools.
The Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation’s vision is to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. To achieve this vision, they invest in grants and initiatives to health-related nonprofits that encourage healthy living and increase the number of Coloradans with health insurance. They also work to ensure that Coloradans have access to quality, coordinated care as well as operating medical education programs to increase the health care workforce. The Colorado Farm to School Task Force is supported through a grant from The Colorado Health Foundation.
The Gates Family Foundation
The Gates Family Foundation makes philanthropic investments statewide that contribute to the quality of life in Colorado, create opportunities for youth, and support stewardship of this extraordinary place, particularly the state’s natural inheritance. Since its establishment, the Foundation has invested over $223.3 million across Colorado towards these ends. In carrying out its mission, the Foundation strives to maintain a long‐term perspective and focus on the challenges and opportunities that will have the greatest impact over time on the people, communities and resources of the state. The Task Force community work is supported through a grant from the Gates Family Foundation.
Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment
The Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment works with people and organizations to develop and manage projects to protect and improve the public's health and the environment in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. CFPHE has been instrumental in providing fiscal management to the Colorado Farm to School Task Force and its projects.
Colorado Department of Education/Office of School Nutrition
The Office of School Nutrition supports the implementation of federal food programs. Starting in school year 2012-2013, schools participating in the USDA’s School Meal Programs are required to meet new nutrition standards for breakfast and lunch meal patterns. This change is driven by the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296), which was signed into law by President Obama and is part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign to improve the health of our nation. The new law (see the summary) includes options and support for farm to school efforts through the geographical preference rule and the USDA Farm to School grant program.
The Colorado Department of Education is the authorizing agency for the Colorado Farm to School Task Force and a member from the Office of School Nutrition sits on the Task Force.
Colorado Department of Agriculture/Markets Division
The Markets Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture provides many important resources to support farm to school efforts in Colorado. These include:
- Colorado Market Maker: an online market to help producers locate buyers and consumers to locate products. Farm to school is a searchable category.
- Colorado Proud: A highly recognizable label, Colorado Proud encourages consumers to buy locally grown, raised, and processed food and agricultural products.
- 2012 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory: A downloadable guide of farmers' markets, roadside stands, Community Support Agriculture (CSAs), u-picks and agritourism organized by regions.
- Colorado Farm to Market: An online resource for Colorado food producers and food product manufacturers that provides federal, state, and local food licensing regulations to help ensure food safety. Specific guidance is provided for selling to schools.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture maintains this Colorado Farm to School website and a member from the Markets Division sits on the Colorado Farm to School Task Force.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment/Prevention Services Division
The Prevention Services Division has identified farm to school as one of twelve priority strategies for combatting obesity through the Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (COPAN). See the archived presentations about the Obesity Integration Project and learn more about CDPHE's farm to school efforts at CoPrevent.org (search "farm to school").
The Prevention Services Division also undertakes policy and regulatory analysis of federal, state, and local laws and rules that affect farm to school activities. A member from the Prevention Services Division sits on the Colorado Farm to School Task Force.
Real Food Colorado
Real Food Colorado is creating a sustainable infrastructure to help bring locally-grown products to schools and community establishments through regional food hubs. The goal of Real Food Colorado is to improve nutrition for school children and Coloradans, help local farmers grow business and bring jobs and economic benefit across Colorado.
LiveWell Colorado is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living. K-12 schools are a major focus of the organization, with the improvement of school food as one of three strategies.
Slow Food Denver Seed to Table
Slow Food Denver’s Seed To Table School Food Program creates meaningful relationships between young people and food in order to transform the school food system. By placing an emphasis on hands-on experiences, community interaction, and the pleasures of the table, SFD-STT projects help to strengthen the food communities of tomorrow by engaging youth today.
Valley Food Partnership
The Valley Food Partnership in Montrose, Colorado, strives to improve the health of all community members and invigorate the economy by expanding access to locally grown foods. As a mission driven organization, the Valley Food Partnership is committed to working together to grow a healthy community by connecting local farms to forks.
The Valley Food Partnership hosts an annual Food Forum, which includes presentations and activities designed to grow farm to school in the region. The 2012 Food Forum will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012, at the Montrose Pavilion Events Center.
Mountain Roots Food Project
Mountain Roots Food Project cultivates a resilient food system in Gunnison Valley, Colorado, by enhancing healthy connections between food, earth, and community. They foster knowledge, teach skills, and provide opportunities that ensure access to affordable, nutritious food that is regionally based and sustainably produced.
Mountain Roots Food Project’s Farm-to-School program provides access to fresh, local, organic, and homemade food for youth in private and public schools, preschools, and homeschoolers. They connect kids to the land by teaching how healthy food choices affect the health of their bodies, the environment, and the community. They teach kids how to plant, grow, and harvest, and how to identify, choose, prepare, and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Denver Urban Gardens
Denver Urban Gardens comes alongside residents, and together, grow communities - one urban garden at a time. DUG offers neighborhoods the essential resources for community and school gardens. They currently operate over 120 community gardens throughout Metro Denver, including 30 school-based community gardens. DUG's farm to school efforts are many and include:
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a progressive, grassroots organization dedicated to achieving profitability for family farmers and ranchers; promoting stewardship of land and water resources; delivering safe, healthy food to consumers; strengthening rural communities through education, legislation, and cooperation; being the voice for family agriculture and rural communities. RMFU helped launch the early efforts of the Colorado Farm to School project in 2004 and continues to support initiatives that help family farmers and ranchers bring their products into schools.