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The National Farm to School Network is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens and food and agriculture education into schools and early care and education settings.
Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices
while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
National Farm to School Network provides vision, leadership and support at the state, regional and national
levels to connect and expand the farm to school movement, which has grown from
a handful of schools in the late 1990s to approximately 42,000 schools in all 50
states as of 2014. Our network includes Core Partner and Supporting Partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories, thousands of farm to school supporters, a national advisory board and staff.
National Farm to School Network was launched in 2007 by a collaborative of more than 30 organizations seeking
to shape the burgeoning farm to school movement. Initially led by staff from the
Community Food Security Coalition and the Urban & Environmental Policy
Institute at Occidental College. National Farm to School Network is now a project of the Tides Center.
National Farm to School Network increases access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities.
National Farm to School Network envisions a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, environment, economy and communities.
Our Theory of Change
The National Farm to School Network’s Theory of Change is grounded in our organizational Core Values, which reflect the spirit of inclusivity and collaboration with which NFSN was established, and embody the integration of equity, justice, mutual trust and respect in all elements of our work. Explore our Theory of Change visual map and narrative here.
2017-2019 Strategic Plan
The National Farm to School Network’s strategic plan for 2017-2019 accounts for the learning from the last decade of unprecedented growth and maturity of the farm to school movement, and recognizes the need for a more focused and targeted approach to programming and operations. Read a summary of our 2017-2019 strategic plan here.
Our network is the heart of our organization. Our structure allows information to move from the local level to the national level and across all states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories.
Core Partners: Core Partner organizations build capacity for and support the expansion of farm to school and farm to early care and education efforts in their state, Washington D.C. or U.S. Territory. Based at nonprofit organizations, state agencies, universities and other entities, Core Partners serve as liaisons for information, resources, needs and opportunities with the National Farm to School Network. There is one Core Partner organization in every state, Washington D.C. and U.S. Territory.
Supporting Partners: Supporting Partner organizations collaborate with National Farm to School Network Core Partners to support capacity building and expansion of farm to school and farm to early care and education in their state, Washington D.C. or U.S. Territory.
Network members: More than 15,000 farm to school practitioners and supporters have joined our network. Members support the mission of the National Farm to School Network by advocating for supportive policies, volunteering in their communities and supporting the organization financially as they are able. Members receive our monthly email newsletter and are the first to hear about special events like the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. Membership is free.