Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms by serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing food, farm, and nutrition education, and supporting local, family farmers. Activities can include featuring fresh, local food in school meals, hands-on cooking and taste testing, edible school gardening, field trips to farms, and standards-based experiential learning in the classroom.

Farm to School programs are often only as strong as the communities that support them- both in time and money. If you are a farmer, gardener, chef, cook, nutritionist, journalist, educator, historian, artist, or have any other specialties– there are often several teachers that would love your help! See the resources below to get you started. The resources below provide the basics on farm to school and the local food system.

This document provides an overview of what farm to school is, why it’s important, and a few steps to get started.

With over 2,000 districts in all 50 states implementing farm to school, there are many model programs to check out!

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.

Getting Started

This how-to guide allows parents, teachers, and community members to jump into the school garden world no matter what stage their garden is in. This is a valuable resource providing steps for planning meetings and spreading the word about your program. This guide can be tailored to fit your school garden needs. Developed by Vermont FEED.

This resource guide, created by Georgia Organics and PLACE, provides tips on how to get started, suggested classroom readings, garden themes, sample kid-friendly recipes and tips on growing and maintaining a school garden.

Not sure how to get your Farm to School program off the ground? This template provides a list of key stakeholders, helpful tips, and a sample agenda. If you’ve ever wanted to rally the troops around farm to school, this will help guide your meeting to make it effective and efficient, and to ensure that you have all the relevant stakeholders present.

This guide will give you tips on how and why to conduct a new food taste test at your school. It also includes a sample survey and tips for using student feedback when planning meals incorporating new food items.

Farm to School activities dovetail perfectly into the federally mandated wellness policies that each district needs to write and implement. This sample policy provides helpful suggestions and wording.

Helpful resources on local and organic food and food systems

The shoppers guide to pesticides in produce.

This document offers consumers with incentives and motivations to buy local produce. Click here to see reasons to buy organic.

Community food security referrers to the vision where community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice. The basic principles that guide the CFSC: self reliance, local agriculture, community focus and meeting the needs of low-income families.

This non-profit public interest organization focuses on health, justice and sustainability issues. The OCA also deals with issues of food safety, genetic engineering, and corporate accountability. This is the only organization in the United States that promotes and represents the interests of nearly 76 million organic and socially responsible consumers.

If you are a chef or someone that cooks that wants to work with students, this toolkit will give you an overview of simple lesson plans, tools and tips for working with schools.  This toolkit is based on the Georgia Organics and Mendez Foundation Seeds of Nutrition’s Chef to School workshop in 2009.