New Mexico Partners
New Mexico’s current momentum around farm to school work, both in policy and institutional support for programs and community-based approaches to farm to school, is ripe for further investment and strategic focus/presence in priority counties and statewide. Through the pairing of statewide network development with an educational campaign that is focused on highlighting the assets and lessons learned across New Mexico, Farm to Table and partners support decision makers to institutionalize community-based and state-funded programs that sustain and evolve comprehensive farm to school, education and farm to cafeteria. By further fostering statewide policy development alongside on-the-ground momentum building, we collectively interconnect and align a statewide policy strategy with educational work happening on the ground, in end highlighting what a “comprehensive farm to school program” truly looks like in the context of New Mexico.
Key partners bring depths of experiences and expertise to the growth of New Mexico statewide program. Partners include the New Mexico Public Education Department and state wide full-time Farm to School staff, the Department of Health’s Healthy Kids Healthy Communities Program, New Mexico School Nutrition Association, University of New Mexico’s Community Engagement Center and FoodCorps-NM, and the Department of Agriculture along with incredible on the ground work led by La Semilla Food Center and COPE (Community Outreach Patient Empowerment) on the Navajo Nation.
Background: This initiative is the culmination of more than a eighteen years of Farm to Table’s work to focus on the health of New Mexico’s children through the school environment by:
1. Organizing farm to school education and coordination;
2. Through policy, work with school food service, agencies and policymakers to create mechanisms for schools to be able to buy locally to enhance the diets of school children while promoting healthy lifestyles and academic achievement; and,
3. Coordinate with farmers and support organizations an agencies to create opportunities for farmers to diversify their markets into schools and enhance New Mexico’s farming economy.