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What is farm to school, and how does it
contribute to vibrant communities?
What is farm to school?
Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites.
Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.
Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing
to vibrant communities.
Farm to school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following:
Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening; and
Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition.
Farm to school provides all kids access to nutritious, high quality, local food so they are ready to learn and grow. Farm to school activities enhance classroom education through hands-on learning related to food, health, agriculture and nutrition.
Farm to school can serve as a significant financial opportunity for farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors and food manufacturers by opening the doors to an institutional market worth billions of dollars.
Farm to school benefits everyone from students, teachers and administrators to parents and farmers, providing opportunities to build family and community engagement. Buying from local producers and processors creates new jobs and strengthens the local economy.