California Supporting Partners
For the past eight years, the California Farm to School Taskforce has been providing coordination and leadership around farm to school programming through workshops, information sharing, policy advocacy and networking. In the summer of 2013, the taskforce came together and decided to broaden their work, and transition to a California Farm to School Network (CFSN) that builds the movement in California by expanding membership to everyone in the state who is working on farm to school programs and projects.
The California Farm to School Network is a "one-stop shop" for everything related to farm to school in California, based on the model of the National Farm to School Network. As a communications hub and a convener across many organizations and regions in the state, the CFSN will align farm to school efforts, share resources and bring farmers, schools, distributors and practitioners together. As a unified front, the team will continue California's leadership in building the farm to school movement and linking specialty crops to K-12 schools. Envision a California where all schools teach about and provide access to healthy, locally grown food, creating future generations of healthy children and economically vibrant farms.
The CFSN brings together a diverse set of stakeholders that promote and create opportunities to connect schools with their local farms in the classroom, in the cafeteria and in the community. Thanks to funding from the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture and the Network for a Healthy California, the CFSN has a lot to offer, including:
- A listserv with a monthly newsletter highlighting top farm to school news from California and around the country, plus an opportunity for participants to share California-specific announcements and discuss barriers, strategies and tips for enhancing farm to school programs
- A social media presence (@cafarmtoschool on Twitter) to highlight the best of #FarmtoSchool on the web
- A CFSN website with plenty of resources, calendars and a blog that distills key reports and findings and shares stories from around the state, including bi-monthly contributions from FoodCorps service members
- Monthly fun activities including a recent school lunch photo contest in partnership with FoodCorps
- Ten regional leads that act as liaisons between the statewide network and the great farm to school work on the ground in their respective regions
- Regional public gatherings that bring together farmers, distributors, schools, nonprofits, government and FoodCorps in order to align regional farm to school efforts and facilitate stronger buyer and grower relationships
- Quarterly webinars that showcase amazing case studies and strategies from around the state