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Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner.
Now is the time to invest in nourishing school meals for all kids—and value everyone who gets it to their table. Just as farm to school is a triple win for kids, farmers and communities, policies that expand healthy school meals with our six shared community values benefit us all.Our Six Shared Community Values
I got into politics because I wanted to make a difference and to serve my community so I want to hear from you, my constituents. Since I represent many kinds of people, I want to find solutions where multiple parties ‘win’. I support job creation and job opportunities, and values aligned school meals can lead to economic and workforce development. Targeted interest groups like large scale farmers have helped me get elected and I want and need their ongoing support. However, this doesn't mean that I will shy away from hard conversations just to get it. In my view, universal school meals that care about the whole food system are good for business, as well as for our kids and our communities.TAKE ACTION
As principal, my main role revolves around balancing the school budget and the bottom line. I want to keep my kids in school and I need to keep them focused, striving to support learning and happiness in the corridors. But I’ve also learned that the reality is, my job is at risk when my school has low performing students & staff. Healthy food in school leads to better attendance and test performance, and I want to be part of the solution that provides a clear path to school success for my kids. Despite wanting the best for my kids and staff, my job requires me to balance changes causing a strain on existing school infrastructure and I'm worried about the additional budget that I may have to find. COVID has already created additional logistical burdens and we don’t always have the budget and staffing levels to make drastic changes.TAKE ACTION
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and when it comes to school nutrition, food service folks are the frontline workers. Feeding them is my passion and career choice, that being said, I can only do so much with what I'm given. For everything to come together properly, parents have to be happy with the food quality–which isn’t always in my control and budgets have to line up. COVID waivers allowed us to provide universal meals to all students, which cut down on the red tape so I could focus on what I love - feeding kids. I try to put together great meals for the kids, and ask them how their day is going, my job isn’t only about the food.TAKE ACTION
I saw this Tik Tok where they shared the meals that kids get at school in other countries, and it was so cool. I want to get involved, and make changes happen. During COVID times, everyone got free school meals and it was just easier, without side orders of red tape and embarrassment. One thing that bugs me and my friends is that lunch happens super early in the day, like around 10:30 am, so whatever I eat needs to be hearty, as by the time I get home, I’M STARVING. It would be cool if our lunches were even remotely selfie ready like the ones in other countries. I follow a few foodies on Insta, and some of them are other kids who go to high-end schools— the food looks incredible, and like it would actually taste amazing. So, like, where does that food even come from? Where does our food come from?TAKE ACTION
Like many parents, I work long hours. I frequently worry about the quality of food my daughter gets when I’m not there, so I try to send her to school full with a nutritious breakfast, and either with a healthy lunch that I’ve prepared or money to buy something from the cafeteria. But left to her own devices, Im pretty sure she isn’t always making the best choices, and part of this is based on the options the school has available. I’m glad when school meals reinforce the healthy habits I try to instill at home. I want my kid to be eating nutritious, delicious “brain food” while she’s in school, because that’s where she’s supposed to be using her brain!TAKE ACTION
We supply restaurants, grocery store chains, universities, military outlets, but our favorite delivery stops are schools. Partnering with both local growers and suppliers allows us to make sure the product schools want are available, and to supply clients with the best and freshest produce there is. We work hard to guarantee great quality, and we also care about the environment, how far food travels, and fair labor and wages for all our employees. We want to see a market in which we can all continue to thrive, offer a great working environment to our team and great service to all our clients, especially the kids.TAKE ACTION
As an Indigenous, family farmer, I am a steward of this land and my work has always been climate focused, in ways that ‘Big Ag’ just can’t be. I can’t see the point of trucking food thousands of miles when we grow great food right here. I want to see my food served in local schools, but it’s hard to compete with large corporations; I need to get a fair price for the work I do well, so I can pay a living wage to my workers, and be a part of solutions around good farming and labor practices. I wish the government would support us more and that the USDA would fund sustainable practices, but it’s hard to be heard as a small farmer and I'd love to see that change.TAKE ACTION
Learn about the real world impacts of what gets served in school meals and what it takes to get it to our plates!
National Farm to School Network spoke to a current Farm to School Program Specialist, Janelle Manzano from the San Diego Unified school district, to illuminate what the Farm to School Coordinator role may look like in practice. Read on to learn more about Janelle’s unique role and how it supports her community.
National Farm to School Network is excited to announce that we have joined the National Healthy School Meals for All Coalition to call on Congress to make nationwide free school meals for all students a reality.
California’s free school meal program has changed my life and transformed the school day for six million students in our state. Without the burden of being responsible for buying and creating nutritional meals for myself, I can better focus on my education and positions as a student leader. Therefore, I believe all states should follow in the footsteps of California.
For the first time in 50 years, the White House is leading a summit on hunger, nutrition, and health to tackle hunger and diet-related diseases in America. National Farm to School Network is excited and grateful to be at this summit to discuss transformative change.
Last year in California, the Healthy School Meals for All legislation was passed. This means the state will cover the cost of two nutritious meals each day for all children beginning in the 2022-23 school year. Just as every child receives a textbook, each will receive a meal as well with hopes to reduce hunger and remove stigma for students in accessing meals.
“It’s good for the land, good for animals, good for growers, good for schools, good for kids and families, good for the community. It’s people treating one another decently.”