The National Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.
The Network sprouted from the desire to support community-based food systems, strengthen family farms, and improve student health by reducing childhood obesity. The Farm to School approach helps children understand where their food comes from and how their food choices impact their bodies, the environment and their communities at large.
What is “Farm to School?”
Farm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. Since each Farm to School program is shaped by its unique community and region, the National Farm to School Network does not prescribe or impose a list of practices or products for the Farm to School approach.
At its core, Farm to School is about establishing relationships between local foods and school children by way of including, but not limited to:
- Local products in school meals –breakfast, lunch, afterschool snacks; and in classrooms – snacks, taste tests, educational tools
- Local foods related curriculum development and experiential learning opportunities through school gardens, farm tours, farmer in the classroom sessions, chefs in the classroom, culinary education, educational sessions for parents and community members, visits to farmers’ markets.
The National Farm to School Network aims to enable every child to have access to nutritious food while simultaneously benefiting communities and local farmers.
Learn more at www.farmtoschool.org or click on your state below.
Sources: Organic Valley