Farm to School in Virginia is purposefully diverse and locally and regionally motivated. Programming encompasses local procurement for economic viability, nutrition education, environmental stewardship, food and agricultural literacy, school gardens, as well as a long-term approach to classroom agricultural education. It enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food growers and producers. The heart of the program focuses on developing long-term, economically beneficial relationships throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
School divisions are implementing farm to school strategies to include local procurement, school gardens aligned with curricula, farm visits and cooking demos. Community engagement with schools, farmers, Cooperative Extension, Virginia department of Agriculture, Virginia Department of Education, farm bureau, distributors, parent and community volunteers, health and wellness organizations and other community resources help ensure sustainability. Serving as the NFSN Core Partner, Virginia Department of Education will build on its goal of growing this successful model through community engagement, parent/teacher involvement and identifying what products can be provided by the local and regional community. This approach will be a targeted investment and economic driver in localities and the regions of Virginia.