Farm to School
Farm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. Since each Farm to School program is shaped by its unique community and region, the National Farm to School Network does not prescribe or impose a list of practices or products for the Farm to School approach. The National Farm to School Network supports the work of local Farm to School programs all over the country by providing free training and technical assistance, information services, networking, and support for policy, media and marketing activities. Our network includes national staff, eight regional lead agencies and leads in all 50 states.
The National Farm to School Network envisions a nation in which Farm to School programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, environment, economy and communities.
Farm to School brings healthy food from local farms to school children nationwide. The program teaches students about the path from farm to fork, and instills healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime by introducing children to real food. At the same time, use of local produce in school meals and educational activities provides a new direct market for family farmers in the area and mitigates environmental impacts of transporting food long distances.
More than 31 million children eat a school lunch five days a week, 180 days a year. If school lunch can taste great, and support the local community, it is a win-win for everyone.