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. There are over 2,000 farm to school programs nationwide.
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.
For farm to school programs to be successful, students need to be involved on the ground-level. Here are a few helpful resources for students K- College.
- Sign up for the Georgia Organics monthly Farm to School e-Bite newsletter
You’ll stay up to date on farm to school happenings around the state. Every month you’ll get an updated list of grants, upcoming events, and articles.
- Organize a Taste Test
This guide is a great tool for students who want to get their peers engaged in trying new foods from the school garden or local farms. It includes a helpful survey template that any student from 1st grade to 12th grade can lead! For even more information on taste tests, see this longer guide from Vermont FEED.
Create a local food video!
- High School/Farmers’ Market Partnership
The East Atlanta Village Farmers’ Market partnered with McNair High School for a week of educational classes focused on healthy lifestyles and local economies. They documented their experience in this video.
- Locavore Song
Pope High School’s Horticulture class creates fantastic videos based on food and farming. Check out their song about eating locally grown food.
- I Like Vegetables
This video gets both kids and adults excited about eating vegetables.
- Unjunk Yourself
This music video will inspire you to dump junk food.
- Lots More!
These videos were created by kids from across the U.S.
Inspiring examples of youth-led programs:
- The Rethinkers- New Orleans middle school food activists
The Rethinkers are students in New Orleans who want to rethink and rebuild their schools after Hurricane Katrina. Their vision is simple: a great education for every kid in their city, no matter the color of their skin, what neighborhood they live in, or how much money their parents make. One of their first projects was rethinking school food. Check out their 2009 press conference here and read their Twelve Recommendations for Public School Food and Cafeterias here.
- The Food Project
Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, they work with over a hundred teens and thousands of volunteers. Food from their farms is distributed through Community Supported Agriculture programs, Farmers’ Markets, and to hunger relief organizations. The young people working in these programs participate in all of these distribution streams, giving them valuable job experiences and a personal connection to our food system and issues of food justice.
- Real Food Challenge and the Southeast Youth Food Activists
The Real Food Challenge serves as both a campaign and a network for college students. The campaign is to increase the procurement of real food on college and university campuses, with the national goal of 20% real food by 2020. By leveraging their purchasing power we can catalyze the transformation of the larger food system. The network offers a chance for students and their allies (those working on the campaign along with those who’ve yet to sign on) to make connections, learn from one another, and grow the movement.
- Students Taking Charge
Students have a right to a healthy school! Students Taking Charge is a national program from Action for Healthy Kids for students to learn, join, and take action to make their schools healthier places and to help themselves and their peers learn to eat right and be active every day.
Additional Resources just for Students!
- USDA for Kids
The USDA has resources that were created with kids in mind. Bring some of these activities into your classroom to help inform other students.
Science is all around us. This website shows how agriculture and science relate to each other. It also provides ideas for agricultural science fair projects.
- Chefs A’ Field
These great videos from the Public Broadcasting Services focus on the culinary adventures of chefs and children as they go in search of fresh ingredients from the farm and create delicious dishes from their finds.