Kansas has many leaders advocating for fresh, local food in their school districts and communities. Farm to school agencies and stakeholders in Kansas provide resources to strengthen school gardening, procurement and policy initiatives at the building and district level.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture established a Local Food and Farm Task Force in 2014. The task force provides recommendations to Kansas legislators and farmers identifying financial opportunities, technical support and training necessary to expand production and sales of locally grown agricultural products. The task force also identifies strategies and funding needs to make locally grown foods more accessible to schools and institutions wishing to purchase more local food.
The Kansas State Department of Education department of Child Nutrition and Wellness provides resources and information to develop, maintain and support Farm to School, Farm to Preschool, and Farm to Summer Programs. Over 500 Kansas Farmers are represented on the Kansas Department of Education website, with additional merchants and products made easy to search From the Land of Kansas. Kansas has a robust farm to school presence across the state!
Kansas Appleseed and other agencies work to incorporate systemic solutions ensuring access to healthy food.
KC Healthy Kids is instrumental in gathering testimony from agencies across the state that positively impact legislation aligning with healthy eating and institutional purchase of local food in school districts. Their Farm to School Academy provides school garden curriculum and technical assistance for school districts procurement strategies through the Farm to School Food Service Coalition.
The Kansas School Gardening Coalition provides collaboration across state agencies and community organization for school garden related programs, projects and activities to maximize efforts of individuals and organizations to ensure a collaborative school gardening presence in the state.
Additional partners working together in the state include Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Rural Center and Kansas State University.