Farm to School programs come in many shapes and sizes unique to the communities that build them. After exploring the resources and existing programs on the left, contact your state Farm to School lead for additional information and assistance specific to Texas:
The Texas Farm to School Program was created by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in cooperation with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHSC). This program purchases fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Texas and distributes these products directly to Texas school districts through the same commercial warehouses and delivery system used to distribute USDA donated commodities. The Department of Defense (DOD) acts as a facilitator and uses their purchasing power to contract with growers throughout the state. DOD ensures the quality and provides fair pricing and guaranteed long-term markets for Texas agricultural products.
In 2003, the involved players piloted the farm to school program in 47 school districts and allocated $110,000. In the following year 2004 the program was made available to 200 school districts and funding increased to $689,000. Starting in 2005, the program went statewide and increased the funding to $1.4 million. There were 297 schools districts that received Texas Farm to School produce. This past school year the program allocated half of the Texas fruit and vegetable entitlement to the Farm to School Program, approximately $2.4 million. The products offered in the program are based on an annual survey of school preferences, what is available in the state and the peak harvest times that coincide with months in the schools year.
Products delivered each year include the following: navel oranges, carrot sticks, watermelon, red grapefruit, broccoli, celery sticks, and red potatoes. In 2005, fresh apples and cherry tomatoes were added to the produce list and distributed 95,187 cases of produce; this equals over 3 million lbs of Texas produce. For the 2006 school year, the funding allocation was increased and the volume of produce more than doubled.
The Texas Farm to School program will continue to grow and is now available to all of the 1,200 school districts in the state. This program is revitalizing and invigorating the state's farm economy by providing a stable annual market and funding for many Texas grown fruits and vegetables.
|Farm to School Programs profiled on this site
| Number of Schools Involved||1200 |
| Number of Districts Involved||1200 |
| Farm to School programs in this state (estimated)*||1200 |
* estimated by the National Farm to School program, Center for Food & Justice, Occidental College. All other statistics based on information posted on this site.