Get the word out!
Is your school or district doing some type of Farm to School activity? Let everyone know by posting your information on Colorado’s FTS Blog. It’s easy to do…just contact the CO FTS Task Force Staff to post on CO’s blog. This is a great way for other Colorado districts to find you and to build a national network! Check out the map below of Colorado districts doing farm to school. As of December 2015, 105 school districts in Colorado were engaged in farm to school!
Is your district listed? If not, please contact us and let us know what types of farm to school activities are happening in your district and we’ll add you to the map!
USDA Farm to School 2016 Grant Awards to Colorado
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 authorized and funded USDA to establish a Farm to School Program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. USDA is pleased to announce fiscal year 2016 grantees. Read below about Colorado's latest awardees:
Chef Ann Foundation, Boulder, CO
Grant Type: Implementation, $95,656. The Chef Ann Foundation will create free, accessible tools to support school district implementation and expansion of farm to school practices. This national project will support scratch cooking, local procurement, nutrition education, and other farm to school operations. The Chef Ann Foundation will develop scalable farm to school recipes and menu cycles for preschool and K-12 age groups.
Colorado Farm to School Task Force, Denver, CO
Grant Type: Training - Statewide. The Colorado Farm to School Task Force, in partnership with the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment, will conduct trainings to increase the number of Colorado’s fruit and vegetable producers available to sell to Colorado schools. The training consists of a Producers’ Intensive Farm to School Getting Started training and a farm to school mentorship program that matches seasoned producers currently selling to schools with producers interested in selling to schools.
USDA Farm to School 2015 Grant Awards to Colorado
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 authorized and funded USDA to establish a Farm to School Program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. USDA is pleased to announce fiscal year 2015 grantees. Read about Colorado's awardee:
Mancos Conservation District, Mancos, CO
Grant Type: Implementation, $97,683. The Local Foods4Local Schools project serves a rural area consisting of Montezuma and La Plata counties, including two reservations. The project will develop a new model for school-based production through hiring of a school production manager and production coordinator to cultivate a farm plot on school district property; support the development of a producer cooperative regional aggregation and distribution system to create a sustainable infrastructure to support procurement of local foods in local schools and beyond; provide training and technical assistance to school districts and producers to build their capacity to engage in institutional bidding and procurement activities; and engage students in experiential education farm, garden and nutrition activities. The school-based farm production and farmer cooperative regional aggregation and distribution system represent new initiatives supported by this grant.
USDA Farm to School 2014 Grant Awards to Colorado
November 19, 2013. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 authorized and funded USDA to establish a Farm to School Program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. USDA is pleased announce fiscal year 2014 grantees. Read below about three Colorado awardees.
Boulder Valley School District Boulder, CO
Grant Type: Implementation, $96,477. Boulder Valley School District will undertake an intensive marketing and education program aimed at a 20% increase in consumption of locally‐sourced natural foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, in our school meals. We aim to increase local purchasing to 46% of the annual food service budget. In order to achieve this within a sustainable model, we must increase the total number of children eating the school lunch menu regularly, and improve student acceptance and consumption of locally sourced foods as part of these meals. Marketing and education will involve all schools in the district for two weeks per year, called “Colorado Proud Weeks,” and focus on ten high-poverty elementary and middle schools year‐round. These schools serve over 4,000 children ages 3‐14, of whom 47% live in poverty households. Activities will include: field trips, farmer visits, tastings, student chef competitions, posters, cooking lessons, garden plantings and harvests, and classroom lessons closely aligned with science and health curriculum. The District will create “how to” manuals on garden to school and farm to school, for extended use by teachers, volunteers, and staff. Partners include local farms, dairies and ranches, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants, school gardens, a local foundation, the Colorado State University Extension, and district curriculum departments.
Colorado Farm to School Task Force (with the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment), Denver, CO
Grant Type: Support Service, $98,880. This project proposes to expand the dissemination of an existing Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit and training, already developed, piloted, and refined by the Colorado Farm to School Task Force. Regardless of size, farm to school programs benefit from conducting evaluations of their efforts. The primary focus of the project will be to build capacity in schools and school districts to undertake evaluation related to their farm to school efforts. To accomplish this goal, the toolkit will be disseminated through webinars and in‐person trainings at existing national or regional events. Additional technical assistance will be provided to up to 25 school districts to use the toolkit. This project is ready to hit the ground running. The toolkit and training already exist and have been tested. Our program can make a meaningful difference for school districts throughout the country as they seek to expand, improve, and sustain their farm to school efforts.
Durango School District 9‐R, Durango, CO
Grant Type: Implementation, $99,998. This project will take an existing space within the Durango School District and repurpose it into an aggregation center that will service the Durango School District and four surrounding districts. It will allow access to more nutritious, locally grown foods in meals, allow for larger purchases of local foods, and allow for greater control in inventory, food safety, and trackback. Most importantly, this project will provide the infrastructure necessary to continue to expand the farm to school programming in the southwest.
USDA Farm to School 2013 Grant Awards to Colorado
November 14, 2012. The Healthy Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010 authorized and funded USDA to establish a farm to school program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. USDA is pleased announce the first class of grantees.Three Colorado School districts received grants: Weld County School District 6, Denver Public Schools, and Weld County Re-8 Schools.
Weld County School District 6, Greeley, CO
Grant Type: Implementation - Schools, $83,800. Weld County School District 6 (WCSD6) has a strong farm to school program that has been operational for several years. To bolster the program and to provide benefits to surrounding districts and institutional buyers, WCSD6 is pursuing a food hub concept. With the proper equipment and training, this would enable the school district to purchase local foods while in‐season, minimally process them, and sell these easier‐to‐use items to other school districts. Because the smaller school districts surrounding WCSD6 do not have the buying power and equipment to make a farm to school program practical, WCSD6 being a food hub would assist in expanding farm to school regionally. In addition, WCSD6 will continue its marketing and evaluation efforts through this project. The district will hire a contractor to research, develop, and test evaluation protocols most appropriate for the school district and state of Colorado. These reliable and valid protocols will be shared statewide to get a collaborative effort across the state.
School District No. 1 in the City and County of Denver, Denver, CO
Grant Type: Implementation - Schools, $99,966. The rest of the nation’s public school systems are watching Denver closely. Our civic leaders have implemented some bold innovations and reforms that have proven successful in increasing student achievement and enrollment in Denver Public Schools (DPS). While Colorado as a state is known for its low rate of obesity in adults relative to the rest of the nation, childhood obesity rates in Colorado are increasing faster than those nationwide. In order to combat the childhood obesity issue, Denver Public Schools encourages students to eat more fruits and vegetables and move more (including movement through gardening). Denver is at the forefront of the local food movement and addressing this need and nowhere is this more evident than what is happening on our school grounds. We have successfully launched a farm to school model that can increase the capacity of our students to eat healthier foods and make healthier choices across the district. We envision a model that brings together schools, community partners and the DPS Food and Nutrition Services Department (FNS) that can work together and have positive implications on a national scale. The overall goals of DPS’ Enterprise Management Department’s farm to school project is provide Colorado grown products to Denver school children during lunch, to educate students on where their food comes from and how it is grown, and to ensure that the food coming from the urban farms is safe.
Weld County Re-8 Schools, Fort Lupton, CO
Grant Type: Planning, $45,000 The district has made some preliminary contact with local farms and would like to use this opportunity to strengthen the present agreements and bring in more farm partnerships. Through meetings and educational opportunities, the district hopes to develop these relationships. There is also a need to improve the kitchen facilities at Twombly Elementary in our district so that the school has the capacity to prepare, store and serve fresh local produce. Project funds will go to these needs with the goal of doubling the current farm partnerships to four and developing new menu items to provide students with fresh local foods. The district is committed to sustaining these efforts through the District Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Council.
Colorado Farm to School Producer Survey
Many exciting direct marketing opportunities are opening up in Colorado, including selling directly to schools. The CO-FTS is ramping up its technical assistance to producers for the 2012 year. If you are a producer selling to schools or might be interested in selling to schools, please take a few minutes to complete the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ftsproducer.
Nominate Colorado Farm to School Champions!
By and large, Farm to School has been a grassroots movement in Colorado and across the country. While it is extremely important to have organizations devoted to FTS or state and county agencies supporting FTS, it really is the people in schools and communities that MAKE IT HAPPEN! We want to highlight those Farm to School Champions and thank them for all they are doing. If you know of a Farm to School Champion - a teacher, parent, youth, school food service director, producer, or community member -- please nominate them today!