Exploring the Movement to Healthy School Meals Through Farm to School

Healthy Food Choices in Schools December 23, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

In addition to describing the movement to include local and regional foods in school meal programs, cultivate school gardens, and provide students with agricultural and food related experiential learning opportunities, this webinar  makes the case as to why farm to school programs are an emerging best practice for healthy school meal programs. As part of the presentation, the presenter summarizes how the USDA and other diverse partners including schools, state and local government agencies, Cooperative Extension Systems, and non-profit organizations are working to scale up farm to school efforts through training and technical assistance, grants, research and evaluation, and state and national policy initiatives. Key resources for helping you engage in farm to school through your work and programming efforts are also provided. 

Matthew Benson, PhD provides an overview of the USDA Farm to School Program, summarizes key impacts of farm to school, and shares best practices for developing/enhancing your work in farm to school.

Additional Resources

Presentation Slides (PDF) 

USDA Farm to School Program homepage 

Guide: Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs (PDF)

Using DOD Fresh to Purchase Local Produce (PDF)

USDA Foods: A Resource for Buying Local (PDF)

Geographic Preference: What It Is and How to Use It (PDF) 

USDA Farm to School Census

Additional Farm to School Fact Sheets 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.