District of Columbia Partners
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE’s) Farm to School Program assists schools in procuring and serving local foods by incorporating farm to school concepts into the school environment through teacher training, technical assistance, and District-wide events such as Growing Healthy Schools Month and Strawberries and Salad Greens Day. The OSSE School Garden Program works to ensure that all students in the District are engaged in quality school garden programs which are highly valued by teachers and fundamental to student learning in district schools.
The farm to school movement in DC was significantly bolstered in 2010 when the D.C. Council passed the Healthy Schools Act, a landmark law designed to improve the health and wellness of students attending DC public and public charter schools. The Act includes additional funding to improve school food quality including an additional 5 cents per meal for local foods and provides support in the form of technical assistance and grants to the over 100 school gardens across the city. Effective Feb. 26, 2015, the Healthy Tots Act provides funding and resources to support child care facilities’ ability to serve nutritious meals and to offer high-quality wellness programming. Early learning facilities participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are eligible to participate in Healthy Tots programming.
OSSE’s Farm to School, School Garden, and Healthy Tots Specialists work collaboratively with Supporting Partners DC Greens, DC Bilingual, and FRESHFARM and other DC Farm to School Partners to provide teacher trainings, resources for food literacy cultivation, farm field trip grants, local and sustainable food procurement strategy, and technical assistance to farm to school practitioners across the District.