As of May 23, 2011, schools (and other providers) may give preference to locally grown and locally raised agricultural products for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs. The rule is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This rule gives a competitive boost to local producers. Another good reason to get your operation listed on Colorado Market Maker and tagged as wanting to sell to schools as well as listing yourself in other local food sourcing directories.
The Lunch Box is an online toolkit with Healthy Tools For All Schools, packed with solutions at your fingertips. Use any of these free tools to transform your school food into healthy and delicious food for all children, at every school. Go ahead, open The Lunch Box, use the recipes and other tools-for-change that have worked so well for school districts across the country, and make positive change happen in your community. The time to get started is now.
This organization addresses issues of food sustainability and access through the engagement of youth. They offer a summer program for youth that includes a series of workshops focused on the principles of sustainable agriculture and the food system. The workshop curriculum, consisting of 8 modules, is available on their website. Click on Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum.
This report tells the story of work undertaken by farm to school proponents in California to understand and address barriers to farm to school and of work within the system to promote and expand this exiting state wide program. (Anapama Joshi and Moira Berry)
This website aims at getting Oklahoma-grown food on the cafeteria trays of schools children. It offers helpful advice and guidance for both grower and school. (Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry)
Wisconsin: If You Serve It, Will They Come? Farm-to-School Lessons from the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch Project
Using the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch Project, a farm-to-school project in Madison, Wisconsin, the authors identify common implementation challenges that will likely be encountered in any farm-to-school project, along with promising practices to help ensure success. (Jack Kloppenburg, Doug Wubben and Miriam Grunes)
This website is a toolkit for school districts interested in beginning a farm to school program and a resource to help current schools improve or advance their programs. Helpful information on procuring, promoting, and using various food items is also included on this website. (University of Minnesota)
An NPR companion piece to Old-Time Methods, Chef Nora Pouillon talks about how she uses locally grown fresh baby greens in the dead of winter.
From kchealthykids six farm to school cookbooks are highlighted with links to the original sources. Need recipes that use local produce, check these out!
SmarterLunchrooms.org provides proven research-based win-win ideas. Ideas that help students make healthier foods choices, and ideas that are easy and profitable for schools to implement.
This online resource was formed to assist schools in starting or expanding their Farm to School activities; assist in the communication between farmers and schools; share information about Farm to School activities across the Nation; and keep you informed of the legislative and regulatory changes that influence Farm to School activities. Below are a few highlights of new resources:
Information resources for Farm to School activities are underrepresented in the formally published academic literature. Most materials exist as informal papers and research reports on individual organizational Web sites or as articles in regional/local news, trade and popular publications. This bibliography pulls together many substantial materials on Farm to School efforts across the United States. Some citations include links to full-text documents; most do not; or only provide links to publisher Web sites.
In conjunction with the conference, USDA released the 2010 Farm to School Report, an analysis by USDA’s Farm to School team of 15 school district’s farm to school programs across the country. Team members worked with these school districts and other professionals in the field to better understand resources, challenges, and potential for USDA support in successful farm to school programs.
Farm to School Toolkits
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems has produced a series of interactive toolkits to help schools plan their farm to school program, source locally grown fruits and vegetables in season, work out purchasing details, estimate quantities, set prices, educate students, market the FTS program, and develop strong community partnerships. These toolkits also include links to invaluable online resources. Go to http://www.cias.wisc.edu/toolkits.
Food safety starts on the farm. Complying with local regulations and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is usually worth the time and money for farmers who want to work with schools and other large buyers, but it can seem daunting. In this webinar Susan Bergen of Peach Crest Farm in Oklahoma will tell her Farm to School story and talk about how she worked with Oklahoma State University to make her operation GAP compliant. This webinar will appeal most to farmers who are new to GAP or Farm to School and nutrition directors with questions about Farm to School and food safety.
For a sneak peek of Peach Crest Farms’ story, check out this recent video by SUNUP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkdVHfoVz4o&feature=player_embedded
This manual provides information and useful tools for farmers and food service directors interested in Farm to School program participation. Especially innovative are two templates: FTS Distribution Cost Template and a Produce Calculator. Scroll to the bottom of the page to download the templates.