Knowledge Base: Farm to School Tools, resources and thought leadership in regional food

For Food Service Directors

    Menu Planning

    • Chef Ann’s Lunchbox: Menus and Recipes
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      Chef Ann Cooper’s Lunchbox is a comprehensive website for school food service. Look through hundreds of kid-tested recipes designed specifically for school lunch programs that are nutritionally analyzed, priced and scalable. The site also includes technical tools to help maintain compliance with the National School Lunch Program and to manage the financial aspects of your program, as well as time-saving templates like a menu calendar that can easily be filled in with your school district’s specific information and sent directly to the printers.

    • Massachusetts farm to school Cookbook
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This cookbook includes numerous recipes listed by type of vegetable and seasonal availability, accompanied by nutritional analysis per serving. It also includes food safety tips and tips for purchasing local. While some material is specific to Massachusetts, the recipes can be used by any farm to school program. (1.1 MB PDF)

    • Oregon Grown Fresh Produce Calendar
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      A beautiful full-color poster of produce available seasonally in Oregon. You can download this PDF of the poster here or use this link: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/docs/pdf/form_calendar.pdf to access a request form and instructions for how to purchase one from ODA for $5.00. (239.3 KB PDF)

    • Oregon Seasonal Vegetable Chart
      4.7 / 5  (3 votes)

      This chart outlines when Oregon vegetables are seasonally available in fresh, stored, and processed forms. (135.8 KB PDF)

    • Oregon Seasonal Fruit Chart
      4.0 / 5  (2 votes)

      This chart outlines when Oregon fruits are seasonally available in fresh, stored, and processed forms. (83.6 KB PDF)

    • Seasonal Produce Availability by State
      4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      The Eat Well Guide contains seasonal produce guides for all of the states in the U.S., as well as its territories and the Canadian provinces. A clickable map links to outside websites with seasonal produce information.

    • Full-Color Locally Grown Foods Sign Template for the Lunch Line
      4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      Use this full-color "We're eating local today" lunch line sign template created by Ecotrust's farm to school program to highlight the local foods you serve. (3 MB PDF)

    • USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this link to access the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. The guide assists school food purchasing agents in planning and purchasing the right amount of food for school meal programs as well as meeting meal pattern and reimbursement requirements.

    • Seasonal and Simple: A guide for enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables:
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Seasonal and simple is a guide to help you select, store and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables. The recipes use simple preparations and seasonings, so you can taste the goodness of a fruit or vegetable at the peak of its flavor. The fruits and vegetables are listed in the guide by their growing season — spring, summer and fall. Nutrients and associated health benefits are listed with each fruit or vegetable. (0 B EDU/P/MP909)

    • Seasonal and Simple for Food Service: A guide for quantity preparation and service of fresh fruits and vegetables
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Seasonal and Simple for Food Service is a guide for quantity preparation and service of fresh fruits and vegetables. The recipes in the guide are listed by the fruit or vegetable growing season and were tested by food service professionals. (0 B EDU/P/MP918)

    Procurement

    • Request for Proposal (RFP) to procure Locally Grown Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - example from St. Paul Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This Request for Proposal was created by the Saint Paul (Minnesota) Public School District’s Purchasing Department in 2009 to help guide their procurement of fresh, local produce for the lunch line. This is an excellent model to draw from. It includes an overview written by School Food FOCUS about the creation of the RFP, as well as outcomes and lessons learned from the process, followed by a copy of the RFP itself. (185.2 KB PDF)

    • Request for Proposal (RFP) from Portland Public Schools for their farm to school/Harvest of the Month Program
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This Request for Proposal for Portland Public School’s Harvest of the Month program is an excellent model to draw from for schools that want to create their own RFPs. (272.8 KB PDF)

    • Sample Contract from Portland Public Schools
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This is an example of a standard nutrition services food contract used by Portland Public Schools agreed upon and signed by the school district and the farmer or food service contractor. (235.6 KB PDF)

    • Proposer Information Sheet from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a short contract used by Portland Public Schools that is reviewed and signed by proposers responding to a nutrition services RFP. (129.7 KB PDF)

    • Reference Sheet from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a reference sheet used by Portland Public Schools to be filled out by proposers responding to an invitation to bid on RFPs. (80.8 KB PDF)

    • Cost Proposal Spreadsheet for Produce Purchasing from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a spreadsheet for produce purchasing created by Portland Public School's food service and submitted to farmers to ensure mutual understanding of an institution’s needs and of farmers procedures and costs. (36 KB XLS)

    • Safe Food Handling Practices Questionnaire for Farmers from Portland Public Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This is an example of a safe food handling practices form used by Portland Public Schools that can be filled out by farmers or other food producers wishing to work with schools. (144.1 KB PDF)

    • USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s farm to school Procurement Policy Guidelines
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this link to learn about USDA procurement regulations, FNS policies related to procurement and farm to school efforts, as well as the Administrative Requirements for State, local, and non-profit organizations to assist you in making sound purchasing decisions for farm to school programs.

    • Vermont FEED's Guide for Using Local Food in Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This 116-page guide is geared mainly toward food service providers, managers, and staff. It includes information on farm to school policy, food safety issues, purchasing local food, marketing, and numerous case studies. (3.3 MB PDF)

    • Cost Template and Produce Calculator from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program
      4.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This section from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program manual includes a farm to school distribution cost template as well as a produce calculator and links to an interactive worksheet. (6.3 MB PDF)

    • Steps to Developing a Vendor Strategy
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This 2-page document provides general guidelines and specific questions for food service directors to ask vendors to determine of they will be able to meet the needs of the school district. Developed by School Food Learning Lab and FOCUS, these guidelines can help in forming relationships with new suppliers and community partners. (500.2 KB PDF)

    • WSDA Farm to School Toolkit
      5.0 / 5  (1 vote)

      This comprehensive online toolkit is designed for farms, schools, families, and communities in Washington that wish to get involved with farm to school and school gardens. The toolkit includes examples of successful programs and information on how to get started, how to expand, and how to engage the broader community. It also explains the school food regulatory environment, provides ideas for school garden activities and education, and links to grant opportunities as well as institutions and organizations that schools can partner with to promote their farm to school initiatives.

    • A School's Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Still confused by geographic preference? Looking for bid templates? The Washington State Department of Agriculture recently published A School’s Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food: Using Geographic Preference to Strengthen Farm to School, which provides three different models for applying geographic preference including worksheets with specification examples and sample geographic preference language. While written specifically for Washington state schools, this guide also provides generalized information that has broad relevance. (0 B ORG/PAGE/74/PROCUREMENT-GUIDE)

    • Using Food Hubs to Create Sustainable FTS Programs
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This guide displays how working with food hubs can increase school accessibility to local foods and boost farm to school programs. (0 B PDF)

    Marketing Your Program

    • Vermont FEED's Guide to Taste Testing Local Foods in Schools
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This document discusses the importance of hosting taste tests in cafeterias and classrooms and afterschool settings in order to familiarize children with new foods and get them excited about healthy, local produce. The guide offers planning tips, case studies, and sample materials for food service providers, teachers, parents and volunteers. (1.6 MB PDF)

    • Vermont FEED's Marketing & Press Release Guide
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This tip sheet from Vermont FEED provides guidance for marketing your Farm to School program through word-of-mouth, staff engagement, and local media and press. Includes templates for press and news releases. (200.9 KB PDF)

    • Full-Color Locally Grown Foods Sign Template for the Lunch Line
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this full-color "We're eating local today" lunch line sign template created by Ecotrust's farm to school program to highlight the local foods you serve. (3 MB PDF)

    • Oregon Harvest for Schools Program, Oregon Department of Education
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This comprehensive website provides a guide for seasonal vegetables to promote by month in Oregon schools. Download sample menus with kid-friendly activities and fact sheets, parent newletters with recipes for families, and posters with vegetable trivia and activities for elementary, middle, and high schools.

    • Parent newsletter text: Introducing parents to monthly Oregon Harvest for Schools products
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Build community support and awareness about the local fruits and vegetables that are being served in school lunch. These short, fact-filled paragraphs highlight Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables, and are easy to insert into your school’s newsletter or on your school webpage. (0 B DOC)

    • Template e-mail: Introducing school staff to Oregon Harvest for Schools campaign
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Planning to start a Harvest of the Month program using the Oregon Department of Education’s Oregon Harvest for Schools materials? Adapt and send this email to school or district staff, so that everyone is informed and on the same page. (0 B DOCX)

    • Checklist for implementing Oregon Harvest for Schools campaign
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      Use this checklist, in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Education’s Harvest for Schools materials, as a step-by-step guide to implementing a complete harvest of the month program at your school. (0 B PDF)

    Food Safety

    • Food Safety Guidelines from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This section from Oklahoma's Farm-to-School Program manual addresses food safety and handling. It includes steps for creating a school food safety plan, food safety worksheet templates and logs, fresh produce handling tips, and best practices for school gardens. (5.8 MB PDF)

    • Iowa State University's Food Safety Checklist for Purchasers
      0.0 / 5  (0 votes)

      This site provides a checklist for ensuring that food has been safely grown, harvested and handled. Provides a list of specific questions for foodservice buyers to ask growers of fresh produce. Developed by food safety specialists at Iowa State University. (74.8 KB PDF)

    Kaiser Permanente

    Kaiser Permanente Northwest's Community Benefit program supports Ecotrust's Farm to School program with a Healthy Food Access grant that facilitates the purchase of more healthy, regionally produced food by school districts in the region and connects them with small, medium-sized, and minority-owned food producers in their communities.

    Additional Sponsors

    Submit
    Cancel
    FEEDBACK