There are many ways to begin a Farm to School program. For some school districts, it starts with participating in the Colorado Proud School Meal Day in September. The annual event is an opportunity to celebrate Colorado agriculture and to educate schoolchildren about healthy eating. The Colorado Department of Agriculture provides a wealth of free resources to make this day successful.
Schools may want to expand next to a Harvest of the Month program, where one day every month includes locally procured food. Check out the materials, guidance and ideas from Colorado Springs D11 school district and Weld County School District 6.
Salad bars are a natural way to bring fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative is a great place to find resources and ideas. See also the Colorado Farm to School Task Force’s FTS Grant Toolkit for finding money to buy the equipment needed to wash and prepare fresh produce.
School gardens are a great way to begin and/or support your farm to school efforts. Slow Food Denver’s Seed to Table program has a wealth of resources and provides technical assistance across the state to schools and communities that want to get youth involved in gardening.
These are just a few of the ways and the types of resources you will find on the Colorado Farm to School website. Whoever you are, there is a role for you to help get farm to school started in your schools and district. Check out the resources for:
- School staff, including food service directors, teachers, and administrators
- Producers, including fruit, vegetable, grain/legume, dairy, and meat producers
- Parents/Community Members, including non-profit organizations addressing healthy eating and/or food systems
- Students, including all ages from elementary to high school