What is Farm to School?
How does it work?
The USDA Farm to School initiatives will differ by location, but always includes one or more of the three core elements:
Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted, and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test.
Education: Students participate in educational activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition.
School Gardens: Students engage in hands-on-learning through gardening.
Farm to School is a grassroots movement that connects children to their food, their communities and to farmers!
Farm to School empowers children to make healthy food choices by giving students access to healthy, locally grown foods in cafeterias and opportunities for hands-on garden experiences.
Farm to School also strengthens the local farming economy which creates vibrant and thriving communities.
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is an information, advocacy, and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agricultural education into school systems. Read more about the inspiring core values of NFSN in the following document.
Farm to School Works!
USDA research shows that Farm to School works! In the early 1990s schools started using local foods in cafeteria meals, planting school gardens, and teaching students about where their food comes from. Today, Farm to School programs are taking root and thriving all across the country. The benefits of these programs are widespread - they stimulate local and regional economies and improve children's health and nutrition. Read more about the research and why Farm to School really does work!