Farm to school implementation differs by location, but always includes one or more of the following:
- School Food Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
- School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening, serving school garden produce in the cafeteria, and more.
From the National Farm to School Network
School food is so much more than just food on a tray. When we talk about school food we are touching on agriculture and economic development, public health and equity, community building and cooperation around achieving shared goals. We are educating a generation of eaters and gardeners (farmers and food professionals, too), and we are providing these young people with tools and resources to feed and educate themselves and their communities.
How farm to school works your cafeteria can look many ways, but here's a few ways school nutrition services can work with local farmers:
- Identify menu items that you would like to transition to Washington grown products.
- Find a farmer or distributor to connect you to Washington grown items.
- Highlight Washington grown products already on your menu, or new local ingredients
- Plan a local meal event.
- Determine training needs to assist food service staff with incorporating farm fresh items in meals.
- Bring a chef into the classroom.
- Plan a farm field trip or host a tasting event featuring local produce.
- Serve foods from your school garden or other community sources.