About Farm to School
In this section, learn about:
- Examples of farm to school throughout Washington
- Farm to school regionally and nationally
- Impacts of farm to school
What is Farm to School?
Farm to School is the name we use to describe programs that promote and serve locally produced foods in cafeterias of K-12 schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, businesses and other institutions.
Farm to School programs take many forms. In addition to providing local markets for farms, they can involve a variety of activities. Farm to School programs often integrate education about local food and farming issues with the food served in the cafeteria. They may distinguish locally produced foods in the cafeteria, host special event meals with local farm organizations, develop nutrition curriculum around school gardens and cafeteria meals, and coordinate field trips or class visits to farms in the area.
Goals of Farm to School Programs:
The specific goals of a Farm to School program are determined by the individuals who create it, though they often include the following:
- Increase market opportunities for small farms
- Support local farmers and the local economy
- Educate eaters about local farming and food systems
- Improve the quality of foods served in the cafeteria
- Improve nutrition and prevent obesity and obesity-related diseases
- Improve institution-community relationships
For farmers, food service professionals and community organizers, Farm to School programs are an opportunity to work together to achieve the goals of many, while providing access to fresh, nutritious, local and delicious foods.
From Farm-to-Cafeteria Connections, published by WSDA
"The more opportunities our children have to learn about the people, time, effort and resources necessary to turn a seed into a crop, the more they will appreciate the food on their plates."
Hon. Jay Inslee, In Recognition of "Taste Washington Day"