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


  • Request for Proposal (RFP) to procure Locally Grown Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - example from St. Paul Public Schools
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    This guide displays how working with food hubs can increase school accessibility to local foods and boost farm to school programs. (0 B 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.

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