Farm-to-School in Washington
There are incredible Farm to School projects and initatives happening all throughout the state. School cafeterias are featuring salad bars and special local lunches, farmers are hosting students at their farms and are guest speakers in classrooms, parents and teachers are working with students to build school gardens, students are creating delicious seasonal recipes and food grown in schools gardens are appearing in school meals.
Here is a partner organization that can assist you and also just a few examples of some creative and inspiring ways Washingtonians are making Farm to School happen, including some of their program videos too:
The Fresh Food In Schools Program
If you are a school district, farm or parent/community group interested in starting or supporting a farm to school program in your area, we can help. Our coordinators will provide free hands-on assistance to help increase your school district’s purchases of Washington grown fruits and vegetables.
- For Western WA contact Acacia Larson at 206 459-9378 firstname.lastname@example.org
- For Central WA contact Joan Qazi at 509 664-6691 email@example.com
- For Eastern WA contact Brian Estes at 509 521-0606 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fresh Food in Schools Program is coordinated by the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network and funded by the WSDA. The project will build public awareness and support to increase school district purchasing of Washington’s fruits and vegetables specialty crops.
Bellingham - Farm to School
Bellingham School District staff, students and volunteers are coming together to supply fresh, local farm food in the cafeteria and for afterschool snacks. The Farm-to-School program is a joint effort with the district and the Whatcom Community Foundation.
Jefferson County Farm to School Coalition
The Jefferson County Farm to Schools Coalition is a community-based group working to improve the nutritional value of food served in Jefferson County. The coalition goals are to educate about the importance of nutrition; advocate for fresh, whole, seasonal foods; support the school board and administrators, food service providers and farmers in integrating locally and regionally grown foods; and assist in making school gardening projects successful.
Trout Lake Farm to School
Farm to School helps to bring the best of Trout Lake’s agricultural and food producing community into the classroom as well as the lunch room. Check out their blog to learn more about their school garden, classroom, and meal programs. They also feature aThursday lunch series of tasty and nutritious meals made from scratch in the school kitchen.
Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program
The mission of the Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program is to create and implement a strong Farm-to-Cafeteria Program incorporating local organic food sources, the community and the public school classrooms and cafeteria; and maintaining a solid base upon which the Orcas Island Farm-to-Cafeteria Program may continue to grow, prosper and provide good health and nutritional knowledge to our youth. This program has a school garden, coordinates a "5th Season" event during which they process local food for use in the cafeteria throughout the year, and host a Student Chef Competition.
Walla Walla School District
Walla Walla has strong volunteer support to assist with school gardens and district nutrition and health programs. Students in many schools experience time in the garden where they get to plant, harvest, cook, and learn about the history and nutrition of produce they grow. Check out this article from the Union Bulletin - Walla Walla Students Serve Their Own Harvest [external link]
Whatcom Farm to School Initiative
The Whatcom Farm-to-School Support Team, funded by the Whatcom Community Foundation's Sustainable Whatcom Fund, is working to increase the amount of locally produced food served in schools throughout the county. The Whatcom Farm-to-School Support Team has initiated a comprehensive array of strategies for increasing school purchases of local food including: funding 15 farm-to-school pilot projects since 2009; organizing "champions" in each district to support Food Service Director's efforts to purchase and serve more fresh local foods; addressing the need to rebuild local processing and distribution infrastructure; and working with regional and national distribution companies to increase access to local foods.