The Farm-to-School initiative is an effort to connect schools (K – 12) with regional or local farms in order to serve healthy meals using locally produced foods. Incorporating locally grown, farm-fresh produce as part of a school nutrition program creates a relationship that positively impacts the farm, the community and, most importantly, students in our schools. These programs connect schools with local farms to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition (e.g. by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption), provide health and nutrition education opportunities and support local farmers.
Schools and communities may initiate and implement a variety of Farm to School activities. Some school districts’ Farm to School activities may solely involve purchasing local farm products, while others view their school garden and farm field trips as “Farm to School.” Each school district must decide how related farm to school activities can complement and support their school meal programs.