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Farm to School in Washington

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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 are just a few 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:

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.

Cheney Farm to School
Our "Eat Real Food" Farm to School Program showcases Washington-grown fruits and vegetables on our school breakfast and lunch menus, teaching kids that fresh produce is not only good for them, it tastes great, too. Students develop a personal connection with their food and local farmers by participating in farm field trips, Chefs and Farmers in School Food Science events, and our Harvest of the Month program that allows students to sample a new Washington-grown fruit or vegetable each month and learn where and how it grows.

Coupeville Farm to School
The purpose of the Coupeville School Gardens is to support learning, inspire creativity, and promote the health of our students. Through our programs, from the time they are in kindergarten, students are learning about the uniqueness of their community and are given the education to participate and contribute to its preservation and development.

Empire Health Foundation
Empire Health Foundation has been working with school districts in our community to move the needle on childhood obesity since 2011. In the past four years, we have been able to expand our partnerships to include nine school districts throughout our region, including our most recent collaboration with Spokane Public Schools.

Garden Raised Urban Bounty (GRuB) in the Schools
For over 15 years, GRuB has been running sustainable agriculture-based alternative education, employment, & drop-out prevention programs that engage local teens in land & community-based projects, working to break cycles of hunger, poverty, inequality, and oppression.

Concrete Farm to School
Concrete Farm to School is building resilient students and families by providing access to healthy local foods, nutrition and culinary education, and hands-on gardening activities in the cafeteria, classroom, and community.

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.

Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center
Oxbow Education ("OxEd") programs are designed to connect kids to nature, both through on-farm Adventures and in-class Farmer Visits. Whether on the farm or in the classroom, Oxbow educators create learning situations for children to directly experience and relate to the natural world through sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. By creating connections to, curiosity about, and confidence in nature, OxEd lays the foundation for future stewards of the Earth, giving people the tools and inspiration to cultivate their own relationship with their community, the food they eat, and the natural world.

Walla Walla Valley Farm to School
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]

Wenatchee School District Farm to School
The mission of the Wenatchee School District Farm to School is to help students of Wenatchee Schools fall in love with real food! and to support the local farmers in the area by purchasing directly from them. Dedicated and passionate team of the Food Services Department constantly seeks to improve nutrition and quality by using fresh, locally procured fruits and vegetables. The Food Services Director serves on a national committee to help develop farm to school programs across the country.

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.

Last Updated: 7/14/2017