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

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Getting Started

  • Needs Assessment Tool

    Those getting started with farm to school can use this Needs Assessment Tool produced by Vermont FEED’s farm to school program to take an inventory of your entire school community and provide a snapshot of your resources, needs, and opportunities. (94.3 KB PDF)

  • Five Easy Steps to Get Started

    Five easy steps from the National Farm to School Network to start your program. Applicable to food service directors, educators, parents, and others in the school community.

  • Farm to School Field Guide for Food Service

    This field guide produced by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers Farm to School Program is an excellent resource for food service directors who want to start purchasing more local foods. It includes tips on how to set goals and overcome barriers, and build a team to support your efforts. (401.6 KB PDF)

  • Eat Smart – Farm Fresh Guide for Food Service

    The Eat Smart – Farm Fresh guide can help Food Service Directors outline strategies for success and learn about a variety of models for local purchasing. It also includes tips for finding local foods, purchasing and preparing fruits and vegetables, building support for your program, fitting farm to school programs to the School Meals Initiative, and complying with national procurement guidelines. (1.3 MB PDF)

  • Getting Started: Farm to Cafeteria Connections

    A useful marketing guide for getting started with Farm to Cafeteria programs, Getting Started: Farm to Cafeteria Connections gives examples of the four main types of farm to cafeteria program models with tips on finding local food, negotiating prices, legal requirements for purchasing, and strategies for implementation and success. (2.9 MB PDF)

  • Fresh From the Farm: Using Local Foods in the Afterschool and Summer Nutrition Programs

    This guide can help incorporate the principles of farm to school programming into after school or summer programming. It includes tips on connecting with local farmers, creating purchasing systems, handling operational logistics, and planning menus. (3 MB PDF)

  • Food Service Director & Farmer Conversation Guide

    Food Service Directors can use this one-page guide to begin conversations about purchasing locally. Help farmers understand your needs and use the question guide to help you understand what they have to offer and how they operate. (72.2 KB PDF)

  • Vermont FEED's Guide for Connecting Farms to Schools and Communities

    This 114-page guide is written for farmers who wish to open their farms to educational programming and school field trips, and/or develop supplier relationships with schools. Though its intended audience are farmers, it can be a helpful guide for teachers, food service directors, or active participants in the school community who wish to know more about elements to consider and plan for connecting farms to schools. (2.4 MB PDF)

  • Rethinking School Lunch Guide from the Center for Ecoliteracy, Second Edition

    This 72-page publication offers a farm to school planning framework for school administrators, food service providers, educators, and community members. It presents data from national studies on public health and the effectiveness of school food programs. It offers guidance on crafting wellness policies and including nutrition and health in the curriculum. It also provides guidance for procurement, budget planning, composting, marketing and communications. (2.5 MB PDF)

  • WSDA Farm to School Toolkit

    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.

  • Farm to School Start-Up Kit

    WSDA created this Farm to School Start-Up Kit in partnership with Kent School District to assist schools as they consider their options and begin farm to school efforts. In 2010, Kent School District’s commitment to providing tasty, affordable, healthy meal programs was recognized and they were selected to participate in Public Health-Seattle & King County Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. The Start-Up Kit provides step-by-step guidance, with links to open the individual tools and resources along the way. Whether you're new to farm to school, or are interested in resources to support specific aspects of your existing program, it's worth taking a look. The kit is organized by topic for ease of use. (0 B PDF)

  • Farm to School Showcase Toolkit

    A Farm to School Showcase is designed to highlight producers, processors, and distributors of local foods by creating a designated “Showcase” space for these vendors within a larger school nutrition trade show. (0 B PDF)