Start slow and on a
small-scale and build your program as relationships and local capacity develop.
- Feature one local food item at one school and /or
- Use the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
(FFVP) as a way to start offering local produce. The FFVP allows you to
pay higher amounts per serving for produce, and provides the flexibility
of buying a snack portion rather than integrating produce into a
reimbursable meal. (1)
- Evaluate menus for current foods that can be
- Get students involved and introduce new produce via
taste tastings. (2)
Conduct a self-assessment
Complete a self-assessment
to find out your kitchen, cafeteria, staffing, storage, and procurement
readiness for farm to school. Use this guide to help you with long term planning and
determine what short term action you should take. (2)
Build a team
It is important to involve
everyone who ideally should be part of the farm to school program
implementation, such as the child nutrition director, school board
representatives, school administrators, students, parents, and local food
producers and distributors. (2)
· Be creative and inclusive when forming your
team. Having a diverse team will help you develop an exciting and achievable
farm to school vision and plan.
· Review the Farm to school Implementation and
Promotion section of the USDA Farm to
School Team 2010 Summary Report for a list of key stakeholders identified
during the 2010 Farm to School site visits.
· Review the Promoting Farm to School Activities webpage, which provides ideas for
engaging school district personnel and connecting with the community.
Establish a vision and plan
Use this guide to start the planning process for your program.
Contact local producers
Once you have a team and a
plan in place, you are ready to contact local producers! (2)
■ Participate in
■ Visit farmers markets
■ Contact your county
extension agent or state farm to school contact
■ Attend local,
regional, or national meetings related to farm to school
■ Look for ideas on our
list of websites.
1. USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. See http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ffvp/ for
2. USDA Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
Agricultural marketing Service. USDA Farm to School Team 2010 Summary Report
(2011). Accessed April 27, 2012 at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s/pdf/2010_summary-report.pdf
Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit and The
Delta Garden Study.